I'm a freelance writer, living in the Mooloolaba area, and enjoying the chance to promote its attractions.
Published November 23rd 2012
Secondhand Bookshop Shopping Plot
Secondhand book shops seem to becoming 'rare as hen's teeth'. The Sunshine Coast actually has several - book shops, that is; not hen's teeth. Caloundra and Mooloolaba have one each. Stores north are stuff of another article; same with west. And east? - too wet for books there.
You'll find each bookshop has its 'pre-loved' treasures in genre sections: picture books, teen novels, detective mysteries, thrillers, historical romances, fantasy, Australiana, travel guides, spirituality, arts and crafts, et al. However, the shops differ in floor space size, book quantity and quality. Happily, each has a coffee and cake shop close at hand. All are 'exchanges' - you can return a purchased book to receive credit towards another one. Good value.
Long ago, in the heart of Caloundra at the uphill end of Caloundra's Bulcock Street, at No. 7, you'll find the 'AA & R Book Exchange'. This is a two room, split level shop, neat, orderly, and well-stocked with popular, contemporary titles, though older works bolster the stocks.
In its subdued lighting, you'll see that it is an eclectic collection, but the popular genres and authors' works are there. One focus genre is the 'Western'. I've not seen so many Louis L'Amours in one place. Nearby, 'Archie' and comic mates feature well, too. And, of course, fantasy. Romantics will be pleased with a wall of 'Mills & Boon' - lots.
For the most, the books are in good condition. Even so, AA & R has a couple of bargain bins for the very well used. These books cannot be returned. There is even a selection of jig-saw puzzles and games. This is a long-lived shop. It's survived 30 years. So, it must have things right. Worth a right check.
Meanwhile, at Mooloolaba 'Corelli Books' is at Sandcastles resort, opposite the Wharf precinct at Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba. All about the 'popular', good quality, and great service, it's one room is bright, clean, well-organised, uncluttered, and airy. Corelli's collections reflect quality in 'literary value' or 'popularity', and in 'near-new' (often times actually 'new') condition throughout. It's an inviting place, with something for every interest. Proof? The 'Literary' spinner stand holds a plethora of award winners that just won't stay still. Need advice? Ask for owner Di - she's a living treasure about literature (and what's not).
There's more than meets the eye: Corelli keeps two separate inventories. It has a 'bricks' (shop) collection, and a 'clicks' (online) collection. Find it via [Abe Books, and look for the Corelli link. So, if the book isn't on the shop shelf, it could be in storage, and soon in-hand. Just ask, and likely you'll get what you want, or be happily surprised by a choice proffered by a like read. You won't be Robinson Crusoe. Again, ask Di. Plenty do, and the exchange hums, the song of satisfied and return customers.
The name 'Corelli' originated from the novel "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". Di, working for one of the UK's largest book stores, promoted the novel's proof after holidaying on the Mediterranean island where the story is set. Corelli Books likes blue and green. To learn why this is, you'll have to ask Di.