Hi All

I flew down to Sydney this morning to spend time with my younger daughter and was duly picked up from the airport wondering what she and her partner had in store for us to do today. 

Well, Dad, she responded, we are going to spend the morning touring all the leading bookstores in and around central Sydney. What a privilege it turned out to be for this avid bookworm! 

We started the day off with the mandatory Flat white coffee sitting at a table on the pavement outside a cosy little eatery. The suburbs close to the city centre of Sydney all remind me of English Villages with narrow roads and vintage houses built with very old-fashioned architecture.

We then jumped onto the ferry to cross the bay over to the waterfront where we walked around to “Title” – I rate this as one of the “best ever” Bookshops – it is owned and run by a very knowledgeable young Django and his book-savvy father. Completely different to the standard shops with Top 10 bestseller shelves as you walk in boasting the latest classics on offer.

I had stumbled upon “Title” last year when I was wandering back from the Sydney Opera Hall. Django had then recommended a book written many years ago by James Salter – “Light Years”. Easily the best piece of literature that I have ever read – the English, Grammar and descriptive writing applied to the actions and thoughts of the individual characters would easily be given 100% in any English Literature exam. So sad that so many writers cut corners, grammar-wise, when putting their thoughts to paper. 

We spent some time chatting with Django keen to find out why his shop was so different and way ahead (in our opinion) of the rest. He told us how he believed that many books these days follow the same old Modus Operandi (M/O) with similar baselines and stories regurgitated with slightly different names or themes. He listens out for authors who are original thinking types that present scenarios offering alternative ways of analysing everyday behaviour. I walked out of Title clutching half a dozen highly recommended books. 

The next stop was a 3-storey “second-hand bookshop – Sappho –” trading “Much loved” and “Out of Print” novels at a much lower price than the originals. “Mother Goose” was soon added to the shopping basket for reading to the granddaughters on my return to Brisbane.

Our final destination was the Gleebooks next door – so interesting to note just how many folks were out on a Sunday shopping for true blue books – indicating to me that people still prefer to hold the real deal printed copy rather than having sore eyes from Kindle downloads.

I’ve bought so many books over the years and in recent times I’ve probably abandoned 1 in every 3 halfway through because of boring material. So, it was such a pleasure to have the shop owner tell us which books he feels are worthwhile sitting down with. 

Tonight’s midnight light-burning read is a shortish narrative called “Small Things Like These” that won author, Claire Keegan, a 2022 Booker prize.  

Our discussion over a late lunch centered around “How to teach Young kids the magic of reading?” Food for thought. Mike G.

Open chat