I can’t forget Claudia because of her expertise. She has been visiting my shop for a few years now. She is a confident reader; confident in what she doesn’t want to read. This is a valuable skill because it means you spend all your time looking for what you do want to read – and reading it.
Claudia is posting instalments of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda and David Hermitage on the front fence of her home in Strathalbyn. Passers by can read each instalment, and then consult the accompanying drawing on the footpath.
This means that we can exercise and keep up with literature at the same time. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this. Once we are all back to normal, these priceless opportunities may fade away.
Claudia once wrote me a list of items that are necessary for all good bookshops to have. Luckily, I have followed these rules ever since, and it has paid off because I am still here.
Just a note to thank everyone around me who sends people my way. I can’t afford to advertise, so word of mouth it is.
Small businesses don’t survive so well anywhere these days – but everyone who drops in on a visit here, tells me it’s precisely because of the small businesses in Strathalbyn that they come.
And of course books are supposed to be “on the way out”. But books are always on the way out, or at least on the way somewhere (in people’s arms). And young writers everywhere are writing madly. And reading.
So, it’s worth staying on in a micro business that means no profit but endless joy. Not that hard to keep going!
And thank you to everyone who reads my stories. At first I was just writing them for myself – because I didn’t want to forget the people who came to the shop. But now, when there is something important to capture in writing, I am excited to tell everyone – look at this!!
Readers, and what they do – so astonishing to me. I am glad I am not alone.
I have a new shelf. It is new and handmade and for my birthday. It sits upright and tense, new, in the bedroom, rubee red, beautiful, anxious and ready to house the treasure for which it was made. I am lucky to have a husband who can make magic and that properly, so it lasts forever.
So, who was chosen? Books, this time, were selected and taken to their seats based on how they were dressed at the time of their publication. So, if lined up at the back door of paperback hell, well, no. If they still wear the soft leather of yesterday, then, yes.
If modern with a movie cover, then no fucking way,
If Easton Press, that superior leather bitch club then yes.
If with broken spines, dented knees, lost dentures, dandruff or a history of drunkenness, then no. (But they ( Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker) certainly wouldn’t want to be there.)
If beautiful in all weathers, then yes.
If a gift from afar, from friendship, from love, then yes. ( Letters of Henry Handel Richardson, complete).
Self-help books, those pretentious sons of. No.
From gifted, lifted libraries not my own but given to me, then the yes, voted immediately. The gold text classics, Australian literature, sit up the top tier and give sun. Yes.
A mighty thousand-page volume of literature by women. Obviously.
If clothed in the colours of the Arabian Nights, sapphire, emerald, gold, the dazzle razzle music of insanity and violet, and the sky between twilight and forbidden. Yes.
Things I have not read, have read, might read, plan to read.
Night reads, mostly.