Noun: consternation

  • A feeling of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected.
  • Synonyms include dismay, perturbation, anxiety, distress, disquiet, disquietude, discomposure, angst, trepidation

I have a little bookshop in Strathalbyn, SA.

Every day I meet readers. They come from such vastly different regions and places, backgrounds and experiences that I began to make notes on all the people, ideas and thoughts that I encountered here. These collected interactions came to represent a reservoir of experiences so rich, unpredictable and diverse that when I re read them I felt an urgency to also preserve them.

There are many kinds of readers. And I have learned not to presume that one reader belongs to this group and not that because reading is as personal as jewellery and as private as underwear.

An experience with a book is not duplicated with a later reading. Nobody experiences the same book in the same way. And few people can explain the sensation of being broadsided by the sheer beauty and craftsmanship of the greatest writing they have encountered so far.

But I do recognise the times that I meet with the readers from what I call the Library of Consternation. This means reading at risk, without lists, and regardless of norms. It can mean immersion into the murky waters of unknown authors, disquieting writing, confronting ideas and difficult concepts. Eventually it comes to define the reader rather than the book. This type of reading never ends.

It is for these readers that I write this diary.


25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello! My name is Aya, and I am a fellow book blogger. I was wondering if you’d be interested in participating in a small project that I am doing. I wanted to ask a bunch of bloggers (49, to be exact :p), to give me one of their favorite book quotes. I’m going to compile them all in one post and then post it on my blog on the 22nd of this month. It’d be fantastic if you would be a part of this. Just let me know by this Wednesday please, so that I have plenty of time to compile and/or ask someone else. Thank you!
    Also, wow, a bookshop owner! I would love to have a little one of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aya, thank you so much for in including me in your project. I have many favourite quotations about reading and books…..it is hard to select one but …I think it would have to be this one from The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. This is also one of my favourite books about reading.

      “What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do.”
      Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi and thank you for your comments, enthusiasm and for reading my blog. It is a dream come true for me too and
      although it is constant hard work and makes very little money, there has never been a day (even once) when I just can’t
      wait to get here. Kerry


  2. Hello Kerry,
    I’m a fellow Aussie from the Central Tablelands of NSW. I belong to the group of readers you mention in your blog. I don’t follow trends. I like to write poetry, words just seem to come into my head from nowhere and I have to write them down. Love what you write about your experiences with customers. Makes me want to start my own bookstore……cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kerry,

    Thank you for visiting my blog (Horizonaus|Towards a well balanced life). You are the first person to visit my blog since I’ve started writing again, so firstly thank you. I had previously used it as a travel blog while I was overseas.
    I am also a booklover and guilty of tsundoku. There’s just something so magical about books that I find it hard to resist them. I have restricted myself to buying certain themes and that will probably be a future blog post. I’ve enjoyed reading some of your posts and I’ve followed you so that I can read more of them. Have a great day and again thanks so much for dropping by.



    1. Hi Mandy and thank you for your comments. I enjoyed reading your work very much. I completely agree with you about books and reading. I seem to collect books, far too many, constantly. I look forward to reading the blog about your themed library, sounds fascinating. Kerry


    1. Thank you for your support and your comment – and also for your pictures of the Penguin collections and boxed sets. I love these and have a few sets of my own – I didn’t realize there were so many.


    1. Hello and thank you. I think your blog is fabulous – I am inspired now to read Great Expectations and The Bone People. I love your images – the way you set them up around the books. The enthusiasm is very inspiring. I hope you all always keep reading this way!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is very nice to hear 🙂 The photo’s started as a clever trick to avoid copyright dilemma’s and now we really love making them for every book we read. It is great to hear other people like the photo’s as well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you enjoyed my short stories. I haven’t looked through your blog just yet, but your title (the book keeper) has me curious. I look forward to seeing what it’s all about.
    Thank you for reading and hear from you soon!


  6. Yesterday a navy ship rescued 1000 people from Mallacoota beach and took them to Hastings in Victoria, There are still 3000 , waiting to leave, Victoria has been declared a ‘state of emergency’. Tourists on the south coast of NSW has been told to leave as catestrophic fire conditions are forecast for today, Jan 4th. The Princes Hwy has been opened to bumper to bumper traffic, as far as the eye can see, with delays of some 7 hours sitting stationary while tree brances are removed from the roads. Many service stations are out of petrol, ATM machines (bank card) are down and people are asked to pay cash, which is causing even more delays. Panic buying in supermarkets has emptied shelves, and theft is rife.
    No, Mallacoota is NOT safe. Watch Sky News for ongoing reporting of fire incidents.


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