Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Monday, 17 September 2012
In the Western District of Victoria, close to Ballarat, there is an attractive small town called Clunes. It is the first and as far as I know, the only, official book-town in Australia.
ConceptThe idea of transforming Clunes into a European-style booktown was first conceived and developed by Councillor Tim Hayes, Linda Newitt, Graeme Johnston and Tess Brady. Clunes held its first 'Booktown for a Day' event on 20 May 2007. Over 50 booksellers from around Australia set up shop for the day in the town's heritage buildings.
Renamed to 'Back to Booktown' a year later and to 'Clunes Booktown Festival' in 2012, the township now holds the event each year on the first weekend in May. With more than 60 booksellers, millions of books and 15,000 visitors, it has become the largest collection of books in any regional centre of Australia and the major Victorian regional book event.
There is now an annual book festival, which is growing every year.
It is held in autumn, the most attractive time of year for this attractive small town.
In Australia, most bookshops refuse to order books from online booksellers such as Amazon. This is a problem for people who are not willing to trust the internet with their credit card details, or the many in rural areas without good internet access who are simply not confident with using it.
But some second-hand bookshops will order for you - especially if you happen to be in Clunes.
So if you want my books, don't know me, and don't have internet access (in which case you would not be reading this) have a wander around Clunes and ask if anyone will order it for you.
Out of the very limited selection of eunuch books, these three are the best:
Mary Renault: 'The Persian Boy,' Anne Rice, 'Cry to Heaven,' and M. A. McRae, 'Not a Man.'