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The Best Bookstore Ever

I'm moving house soon AGAIN so I was wandering around appreciating the area before it becomes an hour's journey to get here - I'll be moving clear over to the other side of town.  The reason behind the move being, my previous flatmates have returned from Melbourne (chasing work), and it was far cheaper for all of us to throw our lot in for rent together.  Between this and my job, the last six months have felt like a very strange dream that's now over.

The new suburb looks promising, but I'm going to miss this suburb and all of its hidden treasures.  Not the least, walking home from the train through the amazing park nearby. 

It's nearly always deserted.  There are tennis courts and a swimming pool and cricket pitch and basketball court scattered about - as well as a puppy playground and a rugby field and bike paths and at least two playsets.  My favourite part, though, is the big empty field in the middle, where you can pretend for a few minutes that you're miles from civilisation and the distant rumble in the background is just the wind instead of traffic.

I'm a city girl these days, but I spent my early childhood growing up on a farm, so there's something pleasantly nostalgic about lying on your back in the grass staring up at such a huge expanse of sky.  I spend a lot a time here.

It's an old suburb, by Australian standards - most of the shops were built in the 1930s, and still look it.

This gutter is a fence.  Your argument is invalid.

Far and away the thing I am going to miss most, though, is the convenient walk up the road to the best secondhand bookstore everOr at least in Queensland.

This store must be experienced to be believed.  It's like something out of Read or Die.

It specialises in rare books - there's remarkably little repetition and trash fiction to be found on its shelves.  I've picked up some remarkable gems in there - early edition books printed by WWI journalists, University lecture papers, and any number of old classics.  Just today, I walked out with The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (Second edition - quite rare, as it's the first recorded example of overtly homosexual literature - which in 1938, was frowned upon, banned, and subsequently most copies destroyed, though it's being reprinted in modern times), The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens, The Stars in Their Courses by Isaac Asimov (a collection of essays Asimov wrote about astrology) and The Oxford Book of VillainsI have no self-control.  But all up, it only cost me $40, and most of that was due to the Radclyffe Hall one.

It's run by an old man with a passion for Queensland History and a collection that would make the State Library jealous.  Most of the time, you can't even find him, because even the front desk is hidden behind a tower of books taller than I am.  He's a great old character, always with some extra bit of info to share about whatever you buy and full of great stories.  I typically have to make any purchases half an hour before I intend to leave because he'll inevitably keep me there chatting for ages.

The aisles are wide enough only for a single person, and even edging past the overflowing stacks of books requires a bit of agility.

And then too, some aisles have been completely cut off from stacks of books that have fallen over and been left there, presumably because there is nowhere else to put them.  Indeed, some aisles are downright hazardous to even go down.  Workplace Health and Safety would have a heart attack on stepping through the front door.  Let's hope they never find out about it.

That's not trick photography.  That bookcase is indeed tilting at a 60 degree angle.

And some books are simply out of bounds.  Can't remove that one - that's a 'load-bearing' book.

Even after I move, I'll probably keep making the trip over Southside to visit this place - not least because the proprietor gives me big discounts for being a regular customer.  When I visited earlier today, he was saying that customers were thin on the ground these days, and he didn't expect the store would be around much longer.  But this store is almost single-handedly responsible for the recent resurge in reading I've been doing.  Just being inside the store will awaken your inner bibliophile - and if you don't read, it will make you wish you did.



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 12th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
Everything is so nice and green thanks to all the rain recently~ It's looking great these days. Makes a nice change from all the concrete!

Heh, there's something of a loose system in the arrangement - the rarest and most valuable books are down one end, kind of a 'collector's corner' - the rest are mostly organised by topic or genre. The ones on the shelves, anyway. The double-stacked books or the ones on the floor are like some kind of free-for-all. It's like treasure-hunting!
Feb. 12th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Man, I want to visit that bookstore XD
Feb. 12th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Scenic park and awesome bookstore within walking distance of your house? Lucky!

... Can I move there? XD
Feb. 13th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
Sure! I hear there's a place opening up for rent very soon! ;)
Feb. 13th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
hjaskjdlas The place you're in looks awesome and lovely! And books so many books. Wish we had something like that here.
Feb. 13th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
:) Are you sure you don't? Places like these are just hidden in low-rent areas. You gotta explore!
Feb. 13th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
Beautiful park! I just love it when the trees arch together. ♥

And wow, that bookstore is amazing. 'Load-bearing' haha! The 2nd hand stores I've been in have never been this chaotic. XP I hope it's still running when you come back to visit. D:
Feb. 13th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
Me too! It's a ceiling of leaves, you can pretend you're in a rainforest~

It's not a joke! If you remove that book, the whole shelf will collapse!

I'm sure it'll be around for a few months yet at least... stretch that into years, and it's less likely. :( Gosh, though, can't even picture how he could close up shop, imagine trying to sell off or pack up that many books!
Feb. 13th, 2011 10:54 am (UTC)
Cool bookstore. Honestly I'm a little generic in my taste of literature, if only because I have two massive shelves of books and nowhere to keep ones that I don't reread. Nonetheless, I love such places for people and especially the *atmosphere*. You can practically breath in the quirkiness.

I've got a really cool one here that's in an historical building which is pretty significant in it of itself since this is Canada and we have a time-honoured tradition of knocking our buildings down before they become historic. You have to get around it by shuffling sideways.
Feb. 13th, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)
'Generic' how so? As in, you only read the big well-known titles? Just classics? Or just don't read much these days for a lack of space? I can empathise with the space issue, it's made me hesitate bringing new books home a couple of times.

*_* That does sound charming. It's so nice to find a place with character instead of all these cookie-cutter franchise bookstores, isn't it?
Feb. 13th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
Whoaaaa. It's like a heart-stopping life-risking experience in that bookstore XD But it is awesome, that I'll agree with you.

Well, I wish you luck in your move! ♥
Feb. 13th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
Heh! Where you must balance your desire for books with the potential risk of death and injury down each and every isle!

Thank you~! ♥
Feb. 14th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
Been a long time reader (in fact, you may recognize me from Another Witchmaker on ff.net) but been lurking the jorunal these past few months (mostly for the Fifth Act and other fanfiction). However, I really needed to comment this time because that bookstore is absolutely gorgeous. I'm a literature major so it's pretty much as if Eros himself had not just shot me with an arrow, he shot me with the Sister Ray, seriously, makes me want to get on the first plane over there and leave that place dry (dry I tell you!).

Anyway, love that place and, well, hi.
Feb. 14th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
Hello! (Wow, long time ago that! Were you still using this username then? Amazing anyone will still talk to me after I took so long to finish that. \o/ Hooray for fellow SD3 fans!)

Heh, it would be a literature major's dream for sure! I'm sure the owner would appreciate a few more lit buffs coming through, so if you ever wander in the area I'll give you directions. ;)
(no subject) - whitearchmage - Feb. 15th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 15th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - whitearchmage - Feb. 16th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
@ The reason behind the move being, my previous flatmates have returned from Melbourne (chasing work),

I read that as moving to Melbourne. :DDD?

Oh that bookstore looks wonderful, such a contrast to all those bookstores cluttering around the city, i.e Borders. This is a bookstore, you can linger and browse and not leave for hours. *__*
Feb. 14th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
XD I wish! Who would have thought it easier to find a job here than Melbourne?!

*__* And how! Not that Borders isn't fun, but it's all very samey after a while, isn't it?
Feb. 15th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
0.0 Now that is what a real secondhand bookshop should be like... crammed filled haha. Though I would be scared standing near the tilting shelf.

I hope you like where you're moving to!
Feb. 15th, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
You'd be smart to! Certainly adds an unexpected element of thrill-seeking to the browsing experience.
Feb. 16th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)

But but but! The bookstore and Brisbane! I haven't seen pictures of Brisbane before but now I want to go and see and ;; this is how you entice me to places, Sin. That field and that avenue, and the bookstore! I WAS TAKEN TO A AREA OF SHOPS IN SINGAPORE WHERE THERE WERE A WHOLE LEVEL OF THOSE SORTS OF BOOKSTORES. I think you'd never leave. :| And eccentric bookkeeper! ♥ I never get the courage to talk to these people because them > me vast in book knowledge so I end up just nodding and running away. BUT BUT I LOVE HOW YOU ARE REGULAR AND HE GIVES YOU DISCOUNTS OF LOVE. :DDDD
Feb. 18th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
LOL, what are you talking about, surely I have posted pictures of various points of interest around Brisbane lots of times? I certainly take enough... *starts making plans*

*____* ANOTHER REASON TO GO TO SINGAPORE! Ahaha, I don't think courage really factors in, he's just good at making conversation. *Is prone to the nodding and smiling and running away thing in all situations too*.
(no subject) - agentlerain - Feb. 18th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 19th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - agentlerain - Feb. 20th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 20th, 2011 08:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - agentlerain - Feb. 20th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 18th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
I wouldn't leave that place for the world. And the trees of that park create such a secluded atmosphere, especially since I am kind of tired of all the concrete around.

More often than not, I find myself devouring books, similar to a bookworm,so I would have been a regular customer of that bookstore.I don't understand why they keep closing them ?

You shouldn't tempt us with such spectacular places! Otherwise the population of Queensland will increase substantially, in less than one month.
Feb. 18th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
Times are tough for the book business, I guess. Everything's going online. :( Hopefully some of the independents and niche stores will stay around.

Ha! There's a plan.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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