Archive for the ‘Buying & Collecting Books’ Category

‘Birds of America’ Brings in a Respectable Sum

Next time you visit home, and your Mum wants you to clear out the attic, keep an eye out for the box of old books. It might be a candidate for the recycling bin, but if you get really lucky, you might spot a gem like ‘Birds of America,’ illustrated by John James Audubon. Bringing in a cool $7.9 million US, it’s a reason to clean out the attic now. Why wait for spring…

Read the full article here.

Founder of Shakespeare And Company Bookshop Dies

Book lovers who are also globe trotters will be saddened to hear that George Whitman, founder of the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris, passed away this week. Going out the way many of us would want to, “George Whitman died peacefully at home in the apartment above his bookshop,” the shop said in a statement. Read the full article from ABC News here

Travels in the Tardis with Booksellers B & B

A late order on the morning we were leaving meant a delay while the book was processed and packed but eventually we were away with a slight detour for petrol. It was then he said: “the parcel has to be sent from the metropolitan area, we can’t wait until we get there” so the route was rearranged to go through the south west suburbs, eyes scanning the horizon for the red P.O. sign. A charity shop that we have never visited is noted but no sign of a Post Office.

“Quick, turn here” he said “John Street goes through Cabramatta. There’ll be a post office there” so a quick left turn and off we go into a swirl of one way lanes, dodging pedestrians as we go, until there is the post office but nowhere to park. A little further on, we double park in the station car park and off he goes to send it on its way.

Late that afternoon we set up camp in a park beside the river. He sets up the computer to check on any new orders while she goes for a wander beside the river, meeting the neighbours and photographing the brilliant sunset.

One day is set aside for business. There is a large charity shop just to the south of the nearest large town. The manager there contacted us some eighteen months ago and we spent an afternoon helping him sort his books into those to sell in the shop and those to put up on E-bay or send off to auction. We chose several boxes for our stock, offered him a fair price which he reduced for our help and said he would be back in touch when he had more to offer. Nothing more has been heard so we call in to see what is there and find nothing of interest. Half hour further on, a little place where some gems were found on a previous visit but this time one shop has closed down completely and the other is open very short hours for winter and is closed on the day we are there.

So, back to the big town. Last time we trawled the charity and second hand shops there were several purchases made. This time, she found three books in a series she likes but nothing for stock.

The week has come to an end and it’s back to the city for book fairs at Warriewood and Beecroft and several bags bought at both.

-Contributed by Barbara & Bill McLennan (The Book Collector)

Australia Post Rates Go Up, Again!

I was staggered this afternoon to be told by my Post Office that Australia Post are putting up all their prices  AGAIN next month.  The new rates from July 4th, will include the satchels we all use.

By my reckoning that’s three times in nine months!

It used to go up every year which was on the nose but when it went up on April 4th  after a big price hike the previous September I thought that would be the end of the increases for at least 12 months. But no, shamelessly they are putting them up again after just three months.

It will soon be cheaper to jump on a plane and take a package to the U.K. then posting it there!

The Book Depository in the U.K.  is given a sizeable discount I believe by the Royal Mail to offer free postage to their customers-but here in Australia all Australia Post do is try their hardest to destroy small traders like us. They take away Economy Air-mail (New Zealand still has it) and then introduce this $9.00 anti terrorist scanning measure for the U.S., does anyone know of any other country that has introduced this?  Then on top of all that we are expected to wear these obscene price increases. Price rises at shorter and shorter intervals.

Australia Post seems to have some kind of death wish. The trouble is that they are making the cost of doing business using the mails here in Australia unsustainable.

The Book Collector

Australian Classics For Your Bookshelf

Australian Classics For Your Bookshelf

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Literary Editor Susan Wyndham has listed fifteen books that should be part of every Australian’s library. Second hand reprint copies should be readily available from book dealers throughout Australia.  Why not aim to collect them all?

  • For the Term of His Natural Life (1874) by Marcus Clarke
  • My Brilliant Career (1901) by Miles Franklin
  • The Man Who Loved Children (1940) by Christina Stead
  • The Harp in the South (1948) by Ruth Park
  • Voss (1957) by Patrick White
  • The Tyranny of Distance (1966) by Geoffrey Blainey
  • Johnno (1975) by David Malouf
  • A Fortunate Life (1981) by A.B. Facy
  • The Children’s Bach (1984) by Helen Garner
  • Cloudstreet (1991) by Tim Winton
  • Night Letters (1996) by Robert Dessaix
  • Eucalyptus (1998) by Murray Ball
  • True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) by Peter Carey
  • Carpentaria (2006) by Alexis Wright
  • The Slap (2008) by Christos Tsiolkas

SMH 29.12.2010

Contribued by Margaret Dunstan of Somerset House Books