Local Canberran. Reluctant member of the Smashed Avo set. Lover of the classics.
Discover some treasures at the Bookfair
The Lifeline Bookfair returns to EPIC on 10 February 2017. In this 2015 article, I declared my love for these events and set out my top 'bookfair strategies'. Mine is unchanged; I have started my list and will walk up every aisle slowly and methodically until I tick all items off. My uncanny ability to find the unfindable continues to this day, having recently walked into an arcade in Adelaide in search of a bathroom and returning instead with Errol Flynn's first three films – dated 1933 – on DVD (my love of the classics confessed here.)
I won't repeat what I've already said about the Bookfair or the fantastic cause it raises money for. Instead, I thought I'd share by top 'bookfair finds' over the years. Maybe you can share yours?
My top find would have to be Maurice Walsh's 1933 story The Quiet Man, the basis of the movie of the same name starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara twenty years later. It's not a particularly special book for me but my mother had been looking for it for several years and me gifting it to her put me back in her good books (pardon the pun), for a little while at least.
My second best find? Not a single book but I have managed to accumulate a substantial Solzhenitsyn collection. I got a little hooked after a period studying Soviet law in the United Kingdom, and while I wouldn't necessarily pick up one of his for some light reading, it was important to me that I read them all. And it demonstrates another benefit of bookfairs: you can track down books by a specific author. Want the third book in the Hunter Games series? Try the bookfair. Love a book and want to test what the author's others are like, without spending the big bucks? Try the bookfair. I speak from experience. After reading one book by de Bernieres (Birds Without Wings), Rushdie (Midnight's Children) and Nevil Shute (A Town Like Alice), I had to read them all.
Third best find? A very tidy copy of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer for $4. I didn't enjoy it at all but it was scheduled reading for a book club discussion the following month. I didn't want to buy the book new and I couldn't track it down at the library. My own copy – at a fantastic price – meant I could read the book and participate (read dismiss it) in discussions at the monthly meeting. If you are a book clubber, I suggest you try the same. There always appears to be numerous copies of popular series (e.g. Game of Thrones, Twilight etc.), books just made into movies, and anything mentioned by Oprah.
There is much more I could say but I'm sure you get the gist. Bookfairs are magical and the opportunities are endless. I will add though that you can also stock up on DVDs, CDs and records, and pick up some jigsaws (all tested) for the kids. Oh, and another tip, for any students out there I used to pick up cheap textbooks; if planning a trip there were always some handy phrase or travel books.
Entry is by gold coin donation. Parking is free and VISA/EFTPOS facilities are available.