I know, I know, I’m terrible.
I can’t help it – I have a compulsion!
You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. My work is winding up (yesterday was my last day at the Adelaide Fringe Office) and the day before, since I didn’t have much to do, I wondered down the road to my old work, the Bookshop, to chat with my friends working there, and have a bit of a browse to pass the time.
So there I was, snooping around the children’s section, having a look at all the books that have come out in the last seven months since I stopped working at the bookshop, when I was confronted by a shelf of new, beautiful, hardback, cloth-bound children’s books. They were so delightful, so adorable, so IRRESISTABLE…
It also helped that 1. They were Australian classic children’s books; 2. The blurbs on the back were just as wonderful sounding as the book was beautiful looking; 3. I am spending a whole luxurious week down at Goolwa, and need some books to read (because, apparently, I don’t have enough) and finally 4. Some of them were on the 1001 Children’s Books I Must Read List. This, ultimately, gave me the excuse to buy a couple.
Which I did. I bought ‘Seven Little Australians’ by Ethel Turner and ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ by Joan Lindsey. And, since I was on a roll, I also bought Philip Pullman’s retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, since I’ve wanted it for a while and used the excuse that I am starting to write a novel that has something to do with Fairy Tales in it, so really I was buying it for research purposes…
I have found that since I have stopped working at the Bookshop, I obviously spend less time in there, but whenever I do venture in, I tend to buy a stack of books, whereas when I worked there, I tended to buy them one at a time. I suppose this is because when I worked there, I knew there was always ample opportunity to buy more next time I was working. There is now a sort of desperation every time I go into a bookshop, as I usually don’t know how long it will be until my next visit, and I get a feeling of needing to stockpile.
The fact that there are some absolutely beautiful books being published at the moment, especially for children, and double especially for children’s classics (there seems to be a bit of a resurgence of classic children’s fiction at the moment, at least in Australian publishing) that I always end up leaving the bookshop with more books than I bargained for.
Thank goodness the girls at the bookshop still give me discount, or I don’t know what I would do.
I was in that particular bookshop yesterday too – buying books for my children’s Easter Baskets (to try an alleviate the chocolate overload). The one on the top left second in on your last photo “Ruby Red Shoes” is a current favourite in our house with my 4 year old. I just love the beautiful illustrations, and it’s doubly lovely that it’s an Australian author and illustrators book. It’s the book we’re giving to her friends for birthday parties this year.
I saw the new editions of the Australian classics, but I have to say that I’ve always thought Picnic at Hanging rock was not a children’s book, or even young adult fiction, but more something for the 15 plus age bracket at the earliest, so I was surprised to see it included with 7 Little Australians etc.