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.