Bookshops have always been the love of my life. For as long as I can recall, I’ve spent hours upon hours in bookshops across my home suburbs and far-flung cities across the globe. My sister and I have compiled lists of faves over the years – from Daunts in London, to Strand Book Store in New York and City Lights in San Francisco. I worked as a bookseller before being drawn headlong into the book publishing industry; my Sunday mornings spent managing the small suburban store with one of my best friends to this day are some of the best memories I cherish. My sister is also book-mad, and calls the book industry home. Now I live vicariously through her and her book-filled world of work to get my ‘fix’.
Bookshops have taken on new meaning since becoming an author. I haunt them all – wherever I happen to be. This year I’ve been lucky enough to visit bookshops in almost all of Australia’s capital cities. It’s been exciting to see my beautiful books on the shelf (and where possible, give them a face-out) and even more thrilling to see customers actually buy them. Handselling – the skill of hand-to-hand recommendations from knowledgeable booksellers is a fine art. Spend any time in a great bookshop and you’ll overhear the most interesting discussions (from ‘it had a blue cover’) not to mention suggestions (‘it’s like ’50 shades’, but classier’).
National Bookshop Day is a day when Australian authors and bookshops align as one major force: to celebrate the incredible tradition of bookselling and local storytelling. I’ll be appearing at one of my fave bookshops in Sydney – Better Read than Dead – in Newtown. I first discovered as a Sydney Uni student, and it’s a real Sydney institution. The staff are brilliant, and the selection is top-notch. The kid’s section is run by people I trust with all my heart – they’re always recommending great reads to me. I hope to see you there on Saturday, August 8, from 11am – 12 pm. Come and say hello! And buy a book (or three)!
Here I am haunting a book section of a department store in Canberra recently!!!