When lockdown ended in November it meant that I could finally return to bookstores again. But on my first visit to Southland Shopping Centre in Cheltenham I was shocked to discover the Dymocks' store has been replaced by Cook & Young during my absence.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Saturday, November 07, 2020
After more than 110 days confined to our homes, with nightly 8pm curfews and a 5km radius (and more recently 25km) outside of which we were not allowed to travel, Covid numbers have now subsided and we are free citizens again here in Melbourne. Yep it was hard, and fortunately I had my wife by my side, but I'm very glad it's finally over and our second Coronavirus wave is now just a terrible memory.
Today I celebrated by going on a quick book hunt, my first in a long, long time. First stop, Howard Bolton Bookseller where I was intent on spending some money as I know his bookshop had been closed for the entire lockdown.
There were no Bond books I needed today however I finally decided to purchase the copy of Ian Fleming's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", published by Macmillan in 2012, that's been sitting on his shelf for a while. I have plenty of copies of this book but not this edition. It was great to chat to Howard again and I was glad to see he had plenty of other customers too.
Next stop was Brown & Bunting Booksellers on High Street. I parked my car on the busy road and walked one way, then the other, trying to find the store. Sadly I learnt from The Book Grocer store nearby that Brown & Bunting Booksellers is online only now; a victim of no customers during the Covid lockdown and high rent. Here's a photo of the store from my last visit in 2019. This store always had plenty of good quality Bond paperbacks.
And here's a link to their new online business: https://www.brownandbunting.com.au They currently have a number of more recently printed Ian Fleming paperbacks in stock.
A sad end to the day but at least I picked up one nice Fleming today, and it was great to be back in a physical book store again.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
It's the AFL Grand Final long weekend and normally I'd be in Metung, Gippsland with my wife and sister-in-law on our annual getaway. However true to 2020, nothing has panned out as expected. The Grand Final is being played in Queensland, the first time ever this event has taken place outside of Victoria. It's taking place in October when normally it's September. And my sister-in-law is recovering from leukemia treatment in hospital.
So my wife and I are watching the game on TV at home and I'm writing this at the same time. But it's not a "grannie" weekend without a post from me about James Bond.
Last week I received in the mail a copy of "Octopussy And The Living Daylights" published by Oxford Dominoes in 2018.
Collecting these ESL books may not be for everyone, but I've certainly got a few now. Here's some more from Oxford. Fingers crossed Oxford Dominoes release more in this series.
Monday, October 19, 2020
It's not a first. It's not even a second. But when I saw this "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" published by Pan Books in 1964, with blue/purple text on the cover, I felt compelled to buy it.
I already have a similar cover in my collection but that one proved so difficult to find the first time it's hard to go past the same cover again.
This copy was part of a lot of three Pan James Bond paperbacks, all with the Raymond Hawkey inspired covers, for sale online. I first noticed them available around July/August. When I saw the same lot again over the weekend I thought "that"s long enough for someone else to have purchased them" so I negotitated with the seller to just purchase this one title... and voila.
I'm still looking for an elusive 1st edition of this paperback title, but this 3rd is still a great find and a quite scarce cover that one day may help me eventually trade up to a 1st.
Friday, September 11, 2020
"OHMSS" wasn't the first time Ms Rigg portrayed a powerful female character, having played Emma Peel opposite John Steed (Patrick Macnee) in the UK TV series "The Avengers". Her character became an icon for women in the 1960's and the TV series was undoubtedly ahead of it's time.
Ms Rigg was a star of the stage, TV and cinema. Her most popular recent performance was as Lady Olenna Tyrell in "Game Of Thrones".
It's sad to lose such an influential person in the history of art and cinema, but we are fortunate to still be able to see her performances on TV and cinema for years to come.
Vail Dame Diana Rigg (1938 - 2020).
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
But I have been going through photos on my phone and found this bunch from October 7, 2017 when I crossed the Yarra River and searched for books north of the City.
Howard Bolton Bookseller in Northcote. Howard always has a collection of good condition Bond novels, many from the 60's and 70's, and this day was no different. I also always scour his wall of first edition hardbacks looking for an elusive Ian Fleming first.
Fully Booked in Thornbury in the Spy-Fi section. This is a great book store that has a high turnover of quality books and friendly owners. I would be highly surprised if these books are sitting on these shelves today.
Friday, July 31, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Monday, July 06, 2020
Roll forward half a year and I've just read that Alice's Bookshop will be re-opening, this time in Preston. This is exciting news. The owners of this business are very knowledgeable, friendly... and love books, so it's great news they're continuing their passion.
I imagine because of the current pandemic there may be a delay before the new store is opened, but I'm very pleased to hear I will be able to visit their store once again. Good luck guys, I wish you both all the best.
Here's some photos of the old Alice's Bookshop in Carlton North from my last visit:
Also, here's an update on construction of my recently acquired Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5. This is Stage 2 complete and it's starting to look more like a car now.