A tale of two bookshops

24 hours of awesomeness occurred on the weekend. Mr BG and I had an overnight stay in Melbourne while the children reacquainted themselves with their grandparents and newly-arrived uncle Andrew (who sounds more like a Londoner every day) at a sleepover.

Mr BG played a show at The Empress hotel in North Carlton and while he was at rehearsal, I had 4 hours to myself to do what I wanted.

We were staying in Carlton, so I walked through the Exhibition Gardens, wandered up and down Brunswick Street, then strolled back to Lygon Street to do much of the same. The weather was gloriously mild for autumn and the walk back through the streets of Carlton looking at all the lovely terraced houses and squares made my heart sing.

I spent some time in the Carlton Borders and Readings bookshops, which are across the street from each other. Borders is the larger store, set into a shopping centre which has the Nova cinema and a Woolworths supermarket. There were lots of people about, but it felt empty. The bookshelves in the Art and Craft sections were is a messy state and I couldn’t find anything. Despite the large selection of children’s books, the book I wanted wasn’t available. I bear a hasty retreat over to the other side of the road.

Readings by contrast, felt bustling, was crammed full of people and had a great vibe. People were chatting with each other, and with the staff. I found what I wanted in their children’s section easily, and the transaction was friendly and painless. I wasn’t shoehorned into a queue as you would be in Borders- in fact the overall shopping experience was positive.

Supporting local bookstores and local libraries is vital to fostering a strong community spirit. Clearly the community had gotten behind Readings to the extent a man was quite happy to perch upon an uncomfortable chair to read a book in its Philosopy section. From memory it was called ‘Being Happy’ 🙂

Mental Notes to myself

1. Pack phone charger for phone. Phone use which included taking photos of extreme awesomeness, had to be curtailed as it was the one thing I forgot to pack- grrr…

2. I am so glad I never named my daughter Hepzibah. Honestly, what WERE the parents thinking? Another reason not to visit Borders…

3. Mr BG totally rocks as a husband, muso and songwriter xx

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