Saturday, August 30, 2014

Northcote And Thornbury Book Hunt

Three weeks ago my wife and I made our way to Northcote and Thornbury for a Saturday afternoon book hunt.
First stop was Retro Active on High Street.  This store sells excellent vintage stuff, concentrating mainly on furniture from Europe and Australia. It also sells prints, clothes, jewellery, ornaments... and second-hand books.  On the day we visited I learnt a woman had just purchased seven Bond paperbacks for her husband, so I'd just missed out.  Looks like I'll have to visit again when they've replenished their stock.

Next stop was Allsorts Secondhand Books.   They had a copy of "Devil May Care" and "Carte Blanche".  I've had some luck in the store in the past, but not today, although I did purchase some books for my wife's Aunt.
A few shops away was Brown & Bunting Booksellers.  As always the shelves were well organised and the store could easily be mistaken for being a store selling new books, not second-hand.  You'll notice in the photos below they had several Bonds but unfortunately I had them all. 

Our next stop was Howard Bolton Bookseller.  On entry Howard immediately recognised and greeted me.  There were a couple of other customers in the store and Howard was helping them.  I checked the shelves and found ten Bond books, and then Howard suddenly appeared with seven more.  I ended up purchasing the "Goldfinger" shown on the top of the pile.  Despite already having the same copy I couldn't go past it as it was in such good condition.  Thanks Howard !
Our final stop of the day was Fully Booked in Thornbury.  Rallou was her usual friendly self on seeing me.  We'd actually ran into each other just a few weeks earlier at a book fair.  I always enjoy visiting Fully Booked.  Rallou and her husband Tadhg (pronounced "Taig") are very passionate about their store and providing a great place to shop.  She told me there were a few Bonds in the bookcase down the back, but she added I probably already had them.  She did however point me to the Film category where they'd setup a "Bond, James Bond" section.  Nice one.  No Bonds for me here today but they did have plenty for sale.

Bond Saturdays

Just a reminder to all those other Bond fans here in Oz that every Saturday night on Channel 9 is now Bond Saturday.  They're showing the entire series in order starting with "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love".

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Visit To The Northern Suburbs

I'm currently sitting in a restaurant with my wife and a friend awaiting our meals after spending a few hours visiting book stores in the City's north.
Earlier today I dropped my wife and our friend in the City for a girls day out before making my way to the book stores.  I started with Sainsbury's Books in Carlton just near Uni of Melbourne.
Not a great start though.  As I arrived I could see a green "Auction" sign covered in "Sold" above the overhanging shop eave clearly indicating the two storey book store's fate weeks prior.   And a "Closing Down Sale" sign on the shop-front window had been brazenly daubed in graffiti. 
In the past I had purchased several Bond paperbacks from this store.  It was comprised of small rooms, each containing a different category of books.  The Crime section was in the room at the top of the stairs.  They always had a few Bonds, and despite how well organised the store was I was always optimistic of finding a gem placed on the wrong shelf.

I snapped a few photos today for posterity, and through the window I even noticed a sign above a doorway guiding people to rooms of books now absent.
Fortunately a second Sainsbury's Books store still exists in Camberwell but it was sad to see another second-hand book store closed.

The second store I visited was Alice's Bookshop.  I was glad to see this store still open.  As always it was well organised and the staff friendly.  I searched the Crime section and while doing so the girl behind the counter checked the books on the front table and computer inventory without luck.

I did manage to find a copy of Charlie Higson's "Blood Fever" with an embossed cover I'm not 100% sure I have.
On asking about other second-hand book stores in the area the girl directed me to The Red Wheelbarrow.  I'd never heard of this second-hand book store before so off I drove.
As soon as I entered The Red Wheelbarrow the guy behind the desk, Paul, stopped his conversation with two other people to ask if I needed a hand.  There were many Bond paperbacks on the shelf and I just wanted to make sure it was Ok to take some snaps of them and the store.  He asked why and when I told him it was for this blog he said "No probs".
This is a really neat little store with a wide variety of books.  Paul also directed me to the art gallery at the back of the store.  I've never seen a gallery in a second-hand book store before.
No new books for my collection today however I did discover a book store I never even knew existed.

And now for some more photos I snapped today:
The Red Wheelbarrow book store is just a few hundred metres from the discontinued Inner Circle Railway line.  Above are remnants of an old railway crossing.  The land reserve has been converted to a shared walking/bike path.

Graffiti on the side of an apartment block on the other side of the road. 
A view of Kay Craddock's Antiquarian Bookseller store in the City while waiting to pick up the girls from the theatre. Unfortunately I didn't make it in time to pay it a visit.