Saturday, May 03, 2008

Clunes booktown weekend

Clunes (20 minutes from Ballarat, Victoria) is holding its annual 'Booktown' extravaganza this weekend. I visited for the first time, driving down from Bendigo and somehow not getting lost on the way - even with a wrong turn.

The main drawcard for Booktown are the 50 or more booksellers, with makeshift shops set up in community centres and old buildings dotted throughout the CBD. If you're like me you may be disappointed, as I'd set off for Clunes with a vision of a giant secondhand bookshop overtaking the town... and instead found just a handful of actual used book sellers and many more antiquarian/collectibles sellers.

All but two of the books I bought in Clunes came from the charity book sale held in a community hall. Here I found some great buys, including a 1959 Ace Books edition of Chester Himes' If He Hollers Let Him Go (pictured), in great condition for just $1.00. There was more original pulp fiction there, which at that price I'm now wishing I'd picked up.

I also took home The Religious Body by Catherine Aird, The Girl From Outer Space by Carter Brown, a (nameless) book that was embarrasing to buy (the elderly man who took my money looked scandalised that such a refined lass as me was buying such filth - but it was too interesting to leave behind), Ten Plus One by Ed McBain and Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron. Away from the charity book sale, I picked up Dreadful Summit by Stanley Ellin
and a copy of Janet Morgan's biography of Agatha Christie, which I haven't read yet.

On the way home from Clunes I stopped at the secondhand bookshop in Campbell's Creek, just outside of Castlemaine. This is one of my favourite bookshops - it has a large crime section and so many awesome nonfiction books. I spent more money here than I did in Clunes, even with the 20% off sale that the bookshop has run on a continual basis for years.

Here's what I found: Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction by Stephen Knight, The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book by Rosenberg & Wiener, The Spinster's Secret by Anthony Gilbert and Clothing Liberation by Laura Torbet. And I found a crime reference book that I'd been looking for for years: Colin Watson's Snobbery With Violence.

1 comment:

CurlyPops said...

I'm heading to Clunes tomorrow to check it out.