The last time my friend Themis and I spent the day together, we had an awesome time down at Port Adelaide at an art class, discovering flea markets and seeing a whole lot of yarn bombing. Today, we went to lunch at a cafe called Doof Doof (we know food backwards) and stumbled across the most amazing little second-hand and antiquarian bookshop called ‘A Book Affair’.
From the moment I stepped through the store, I loved ‘A Book Affair’. The first thing it did to capture me was have a selection of old Enid Blyton books displayed by the counter – the Famous Fives being from 1956! They had beautiful leather bound editions of J. M. Barrie’s work, huge illustrated copies of Winnie the Pooh, as well as stacks of old children’s paperbacks. In fact, it was one of the best children’s selections I have seen at a second-hand bookshop. Many second-hand or op-shop bookstore tend to be a bit low on children’s books, and have the same old stuff – stacks of Enid Blyton, and then most of the other books are only a few years old.
This bookstore was not like that. Many of the titles were books from my list of ’1001 Children’s Books I Must Read Before I Grow Up’, and many of these were beautiful, cloth bound editions. I really struggled to limit myself to buying a whole stack of books (although the price of some of the books were sobering – the Famous Fives were $45 each. Ouch). I finally chose a cloth bound edition of ‘The Story of the Treasure Seekers’ by E. Nesbit, published in 1944 (1944! Themis pointed out that World War Two was still being fought when this book came into being!). There were two other matching E Nesbit books sitting next to it on the shelf, and I felt terrible separating them, but I couldn’t afford all three. I will just have to go back soon and buy the other two! I also bought a copy of the first book of Redwall, but Brian Jacques, as none of my local libraries stock it. I now have a fat stack of books waiting for me to get to on my bedside table; I am almost finished A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin – how on earth am I going to choose which book to read next?