Thursday, July 18, 2019

Sabers Books + Melbourne Movie Market

Apologisies for the lateness of this blog entry but on the day of the Australian federal election, Saturday, May 18, I visited Chapel Street in St. Kilda and Windsor on my constant quest for James Bond books.

First I visited Penny Syber's Secondhand Books.  I was dismayed to see "Moving Sale" painted on the shop front however after speaking to Penny I learnt the store is moving to Glenferrie Road in Malvern near the tram depot.

I'm sure the many friendly residents of the store will be in for a shock too.

I managed to find these Bond novels but had to let them go.  I wish Penny lots of luck in her new store and will visit ASAP.

I've attended every Melbourne Movie Market at The Astor Theatre since they began a few years ago.  My wife and I even had a stall one time and made a dismal $85 profit (anything was better than nothing though).

As usual the market is spread over two levels with about 30 stalls.

One stall in particular caught my interest as it had an entire row of Bond novels.

I ended up purchasing this nice hardback of John Gardner's "The Man From Barbarossa".  

The day may not have ended with the election result we all expected, but at least I managed to find a book I didn't already have.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Visit To Helena's Curiosity Shop

It's always exciting to find a new second-hand book store.  I've visited so many second-hand book stores here in Victoria I often imagine there are no new ones left to discover.  However a fortnight ago my wife was searching on her phone and found one I'd never heard of before.  So we got in our car and drove to Centre Road, Bentleigh where we visited Helena's Curiosity Shop.

The shop is chock-full of crystalware, vinyl, magazines, knick-knacks and collectables, but the majority of the space is taken up by books.

On entering the shop Helena introduced herself from behind the counter.  She explained she'd established the store in 1990 and over the years the theme has evolved; currently there's a concentration of books.

When I mentioned I was looking for James Bond novels she first pointed out the collection of 007 cars above our heads, and then walked around the shelves pulling out all the Bond novels she had for sale.  She also mentioned many names of continuation authors and how many of those books had graced the shelves over the years.

I ended up buying two of the books shown; a really nice paperback copy of "You Only Live Twice" published by Pan in the 1960's, and a Jonathan Cape first edition "The Man With The Golden Gun" from 1965.  Unfortunately the Cape was without its dust jacket but it's still a really nice copy.

If you get the chance be sure to visit Helena's Curiosity Shop.  Despite being a small store it's got lots of quality books for sale, they're well organised and Helena is very friendly and always ready to assist.  I will definitely return.  Here's a link with further details.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

ANZAAB Melbourne Rare Book Fair 2019

Two book fairs in two days; my wife and I have certainly had a busy weekend book hunting.  Following the Yarragon Book Fair yesterday, we attended the ANZAAB Melbourne Rare Book Fair at the University of Melbourne this afternoon.  This is the 8th time this book fair has taken place, but our first visit.

I'm not sure what I expected at this book fair, but it was totally different to the reality.  Walking around Wilson Hall I was surprised to see so many stalls from book stores I have visited during my travels around Australia.

Grant's Bookshop had a stall.  I've followed Grant's from their original store in Prahran to Armadale and now Cheltenham.  They had these three Fleming titles for sale, although I'm sure there are more at their warehouse.

Kookaburra Books, a store I have visited many times in Hobart, had the most Fleming titles for sale.  If only I had some spare cash lying around !

Astrolabe Booksellers, also from Hobart, had a stall too, as did Kay Craddock, Peter Arnold Rare Books and Sainsbury's Books, Michael Treloar, but they had no Fleming titles today. 

A book store I hadn't heard of before, Somerset House Books, had these two Flemings for sale.  "The Man With The Golden Gun" was an excellent copy (2nd edition) but I had to let it go.

It was also good to see a few international book sellers at the fair.  One was Peter Harrington, whose book store I believe I visited in London back in 2013.  I say 'believe' because there are a number of Harrington's in the family who own book stores so I'm not certain it's the same one.  They had no Flemings today either, although they did have this AU$9,750 paperback of Harry Potter's first adventure for sale.  Wow !  I mentioned Jon Gilbert, the Fleming book expert, but the woman at the stall said he wasn't linked to their store.  I'll definitely have to visit Peter Harrington next time I'm in London.

I discovered so many Australian book stores today that I hadn't heard of before, the fair turned out to be a real eye opener and a great experience.  If you're in Melbourne this time next year I definitely recommend a visit.

Here's a photo of the City between two buildings at The University Of Melbourne as we were leaving.

And here's a photo of Coventry Bookstore in South Melbourne which we visited on our way home.  A great little bookstore selling new and interesting books.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Yarragon Book Fair 2019

My wife and I attended the annual Yarragon Book Fair today to help raise funds for the Country Fire Authority.  Every year we make the hour-and-a-half drive to the small town in Gippsland on the hunt for James Bond novels.  My wife's parents and sister also travelled with us to stock up on their year's worth of reading.  With paperbacks selling for $1 and hardbacks for $2 how could anyone not find a bargain !

There was heavy rain on the roads so we took the drive cautiously, concerned the wet and cold weather could affect one of the town's biggest weekends of the year.

But when we entered the hall we were pleased to see so many people had also safely made the same journey for such a good cause.

As usual there were two large rooms filled with thousands of books...

and in amongst them we managed to find the following Bond novels:

There were also these two books which I purchased.  As seems to be the norm nowadays I already own these covers but they were in such good condition I could hardly refuse to bring them home.

After scouring all the books we then had a delicious lunch at the local pub.  I also couldn't resist grabbing a piece of carrot cake from the bakery.

So another great day at Yarragon, and for anyone interested the fair continues tomorrow until 5pm.