Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 11, 2018

2018 Love Your Book Shop Day (and Lisa has an attack of Spendyitis!)

Today is Love Your Book Shop Day!
To share the love, I went to three of my favourite local bookshops.

First I went to Beaumaris Books on the South Concourse Beaumaris, where I bought Michael Ondaatje’s new book Warlight (which has been reviewed enthusiastically by some of my blogging friends including Becky at Becky’s Books.  They are one of my favourite bookshops because they host terrific author events with dinner at an author talk at the nearby Ginger Fox restaurant.  So far I have heard Michelle de Kretser talk about The Life to Come; Sally Hepworth talk about The Family Next Door; and Enza Gandolfo talk about The Bridge.  Next month, in the lead up to World Day against the Death Penalty, the featured book is The Pastor and the Painter by Cindy Wockner so I’m looking forward to that.

Tracy from Ulysses Bookstore

Next, it was off to Ulysses Bookstore in Melrose St, Sandringham.  I’m fond of this bookshop because of its great location among nice eateries and the Sandringham branch of the Bayside Library Service.  Tracy, the proprietor, loves books, loves talking about books, and always has a great selection of new releases.  Her cookbook collection is great when I’m looking for gift books, and although I don’t often need children’s books now that I’ve retired, I used to find this shop an excellent source of beautiful editions of special books.  (I used to tell my students, I buy the expensive books so your parents don’t have to, knowing full well that most of their parents wouldn’t contemplate buying a book that cost $50 or so).  From Ulysses I bought Ruby J Murray’s The Biographer’s Lover (because I loved her Running Dogs), and also Prague Spring by Simon Mawer because I really like his books too.

Last of all I went to Benn’s Books in Centre Rd Bentleigh, where I made a resolution probably destined to be broken that I would not come in again next week when I’m at the dentist almost next door and spend more money.  Benn’s is an irresistible sort of place… a fantastic fiction selection, including heaps of Australian books, a great travel section, biographies of the most interesting people and a bargain book shelf that actually has books you’d want to buy.  That’s where The Rat Catcher came from.  It’s by a post Soviet Russian author I’ve never heard of and how could I resist it with a title like that and a cover price of $9.95, eh?  I also lashed out on the new Robert Drewe short story collection called The True Colour of the Sea; Ceriden Dovey’s In the Garden of the Fugitives; The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elizabeth Gifford which is a fictionalisation of a true story about the hero Dr Janusz Korczak who went with 200 orphans to his death at Treblinka; and finally The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith, which looks fascinating.  I also bought some lovely bookish greeting cards – and got a nice surprise when I got to the register because I had $26 in loyalty points which was almost the full price of The Dutch Wife.  

PS I also bought two Penguin Moderns: Why Do You Wear a Watch? by Hans Fallada and George Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism but I forgot to put them in the photo.

It might have been a rather bleak day in Melbourne weatherwise, but I have had a great day.  If you went bookshopping today, which books did you buy?


  1. Hi Lisa, I actually went yesterday but I bought two that have been on my wishlist (The Hate U Give & The Botanist’s Daughter), two that are old favourites (The House at Pooh Corner & a combined My Brilliant Career and My Career Goes Bung) and Eden by Candice Fox. I was trying to be on a Book Buying Ban but Love Your Bookshop Day put an end to that!

    • Ah well, there is a dispensation from book buying bans on LYBD, for sure. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of The Botanist’s Daughter, I nearly bought that myself today…

      • The cover is certainly quite beautiful and I’ve come across some good reviews, but it’ll be a while till I get to it. I’ve already got a few books on the go and more lined up to follow, but it will be there, waiting…

        • Don’t I know that feeling!

  2. Normally, I ‘d say “and NOW you have to read them!” except that I know for sure that you will!

    • Yes indeed, though it might take a while:)

  3. I’m stuck in the outer industrial suburbs of Brisbane so no book buying for me BUT my son found us a copy of Ian Turner’s Sydney’s Burning at the Anarchist book fair.

    • Oh wow, I have a copy of that… somewhere. Is that a bit of a find?

  4. Lovely finds and of course I’m intrigued by the obscure Russian! I have picked up an intriguing sounding Virago- hurrah!

    • I discovered post Soviet Russian writers through Stu at Winston’s Dad and not one of them has been a disappointment so I have high hopes for it.

  5. I wonder if I can sneak some time away from my husband to visit one of these when I’m in Melbourne next year. It will be the last stop on our odyssey so I may have run out of pennies by then however

    • These might be a bit off the beaten track if you’re based in the city. But we have some splendid CBD bookshops in lovely old buildings: The Hill of Content, and Kay Craddock’s Antiquarian Bookshop, and if he likes science, Embiggen Books conveniently within a stone’s throw of the State Library built with our gold-rush money and is a must-see.

      • I second Hill of Content, and the Collins Street branch of Dymocks has a massive section devoted purely to Australian fiction which is always my first port of call. I’m also very partial to Readings (the St Kilda branch) and the Mary Martin Bookshop in Southbank.

        • I’m very partial to Readings too, but I was thinking of places easy to get to in the CBD if pressed for time. Both Kay Craddocks and Hill of Content are within a stone’s throw of Fed Square (which is where tourists go if they want to see Australian and Indigenous art).

      • I shall add to my list of must do/see in that case…

  6. Hi Lisa, you did well. I did buy books yesterday,, three, for my grandsons. I think this month I have bought too many books for me. Now I have to read them as well as the ones from the library. The TBR is nearly reaching the ceiling.

    • Ah yes, the trip to the library can be fatal. I brought home two more yesterday on top of the ones I bought. I have no idea where I will get the time to read them,….

  7. That’s a great splurge, Lisa! I bought Ceriden Dovey’s In the Garden of the Fugitives when I was in Oz but haven’t yet gotten around to reading it. I’m having a rest from buying books for a bit because I bought a stack of them in late July (birthday presents for myself!!) and then Tim gave me three gorgeous Venetian cookbooks (from my wishlist), which I haven’t even had time to look at yet!

    • Venetian cookbooks! That sounds interesting:)

      • Both are by Russell Norman, the chef who opened Polpo in SoHo. Don’t know if you know that restaurant but you must go next time you’re in London; it’s unpretentious (but pricey) small plates of cicheti (like Spanish tapas), which are very very moreish 😋

        • I’ll bear it in mind for our next trip…

  8. Prague Spring is very good—I read it last week, will be reviewing soon. Simon Mawer is ever reliable!

    • I’ve never been disappointed:)

  9. Those events sound excellent. A nice dinner and a bit of chat from an author, what more could a book-loving girl want? :)

  10. As you probably know, I went to Readings during our brief trip to Melbourne last weekend, and just bought Gerald Murnane’s Border district. Daughter Gums bought two books at Reading Kids for a baby shower she was going to. I saw a lot of books I wanted to buy but I know I won’t get to read them … so sad, but this is my life.

    • We can’t possibly read everything that we want to read, alas…

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