Sunday, June 14, 2009

A pleasant Sunday afternoon

I mentioned a couple of days ago that one of the things I got for my birthday was a Borders gift card. I don't really enjoy bookstore browsing these days mainly because I know that I can get almost anything that I want to read from the library. The other factor is that most of the time the books that catch my eye are the books I have already read.

Yesterday I was getting a massage and was chatting to the girl who was doing it and she just happened to mention that there was a new Borders that had opened in Geelong which is a town about 40 minutes away from where I live. There is another Borders that is probably a bit closer but it is in a major shopping centre and the parking is a real hassle. It was also a pretty nice winter day here so I thought that it would be good to go for the drive down to Geelong and then I could pick up something. I really only had one firm idea of what book I was going to buy, and a couple of other vague ideas for other choices, but in the end I managed to spend all my birthday book money.

The books I ended up buying were:

The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne

I am not sure why but it always seems to be something of a surprise to me to hear that John Boyne has a new book out. I am not really sure why there isn't any hype around them, but I found out ages after his Mutiny on the Bounty book came out (which I have out from the library but haven't read yet). The first I knew about this book was when I saw it on the new release shelf, but given that it features the Romanovs this was a pretty easy choice for me to make.

Love at First Bite anthology

This anthology is one that my library hasn't bought yet, and it contains the next Sherrilyn Kenyon story in her Dark Hunter series so this was a good opportunity to get it.

It Happened One Night anthology

Another anthology that my library hasn't bought, although thankfully it doesn't contain any entries in series that I am reading. I mainly got this for the Mary Balogh story, although it will also be a chance for me to read Stephanie Laurens as well. How a historical romance reader like me hasn't managed to read her is something of a mystery to me!

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This was the book that I knew I was going to get. Since the first moment I heard that there was a new Carlos Ruiz Zafon book coming out I have been excited, even when I knew that there was still a year to wait for the English translation. Then I watched as loads of bloggers got to review ARCs and there was still no sign of it here, but now, I have my own copy. Now I just need to try and clear some space in the reading schedule to fit it in!

Party in my Tummy (Yo Gabba Gabba series)

For my nephew!

And just like that $100 is gone! Books here are so expensive. The Boyne was $36.50 for the trade paperback, and that is the price that The Angel's Game should have been as well but it was reduced for this week. That's part of the reason why most times I do buy a book I will buy it from The Book Depository. Even with the exchange rates not being great, it is still usually cheaper for me to buy it from there than it is to work into a bookstore there. This time it definitely helped that I wasn't actually paying for the books really!

Not sure if I would go to the Borders at Geelong specially again as it was a pretty small store, but there are other reasons for going down there. After shopping my son and I went for a walk along the foreshore at Geelong. When I first visited Geelong about 20-25 years ago, the foreshore was a bit of a dump really but they have really done a lot of work at revitalising the area. All along the main part there are lots of public spaces, restaurants etc and it is a real pleasure to wander along there.

Something that is pretty unique to Geelong is a collection of bollards that have been taken from the former pier and wharf buildings and have been painted up by a local artist to give what the guide says is an "affectionate history" of the town. There are 46 different displays covering a couple of kilometres including over one hundred separate displays. We didn't see all of them but one day I intend to start at one end and walk (or perhaps ride) all the way along.

I am still very excited by my new phone, so may have been a little snap happy but here are photos of some of the bollards that we saw during the day (click on the images for a larger picture):

Peter Lalor is a famous Australian as he led a revolt on the goldfields known as the Eureka Stockade in the 1860s against the unfair mining regulations.

Victorian bathers

The Volunteer Rifle Band

This is an early Geelong player of Australian Rules football.

This bollard represents a dance hall and rollerskating venue that stood near the spot. One of the regular themes was dressing up and that is why this one appears as it does.


  1. I love the Geelong photos Marg

  2. What a great post - and you did find some good books I think :-) I loved your photos as they are very exotic to me, having never visited your great country. And also pretty exotic to read about you having winter now that we are in the beginnings of summer ;o)

  3. Louise, I am thinking that our winter is probably not cold to you at all!

  4. What a great way to spend the day - shopping with someone else's moneey and seeing some great sights. Are all books so darn expensive in Australia? WOW! I see quite clearly why you have such a close relationship with your library. I just read 84, Charing Cross Road yesterday and Helene gets into a relationship with a British bookseller because she hates crappy American books and it was cheaper to get nice second hand books that way. I love it and your post reminded me of it. :)

    Have a great rest of your day!!

  5. Great haul! Enjoy the books :-)

    Btw, the dates for the second Mystery Read-A-Thon are up, hope you can make it this time around!

    See you!

  6. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  7. I am so glad I don't live in Australia!! Only for the fact of your exchange rates and your book prices. I couldn't imagine spending over $20 for a book I really wanted. I normally cruise the internet for the best deal, I need to remind myself how lucky we are to have that opportunity here in the USA. I wouldn't mind visiting Australia though!

  8. I have never heard of that John Boyne book either. What horrible marketing!

    Great pictures! And, wow, I am so glad books are not that expensive here!

    Sorry I didn't catch you online this weekend. If you were around for Sat night (for me) I could not get msn to work at all.

  9. I also have not heard of John Boyne but with your recommendations I looked him up on I didn't realize he wrote The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, one I've been meaning to read for a long time. I ordered it and The Bounty and Thief of Time (all used - the shipping was more than the books, but was still less than $30). I look forward to your review of The House of Special Purpose. The American cover is not nearly as pleasing as your copy.

  10. John Boyne's most famous book is definitely Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Booklogged. I don't really buy used either. Last time I was looking for books in a used bookstore they were still charging up to $15 for a used book which just feels too expensive.

    Kailana, I wasn't really around that much myself, but I think I will be around this weekend other than on Sunday night my time.

    Marie, book prices and the exchange rates are just the way they are! There are loads of other great things about living here (and visiting here as well!)

    Thanks for stopping by Cindy.

    Kathrin, I will definitely be taking a look to see if I can make it this time!

    Literate Housewife, $36.50 is the standard price for trade paperback. Generally you can find them a little bit cheaper around the place. The Zafon was a hot release at Borders and so that was $25. I would have paid full price for that one though!

  11. Marg, I just spent time looking up Geelong on GoogleEarth. From there I've been looking up places I've lived and visited. Oh, my you can spend hours looking at this remarkable world of ours.

    The books I bought today from amazon were less than 2.50 ea, but s&h is $3.99. Many times the books are only a penny.

  12. What great books you have picked up. I am waiting to read The Angel's Game until I re-read The Shadow of the Wind - not sure if it will make a difference but I thought I needed to re-visit it first.

  13. I am not sure but I thought I had heard that The Angel's Game is a prequel to Shadow of the Wind.

  14. I agree - books here are very expensive. I usually get around this by waiting for coupons for Borders or shopping at chain stores like Big W or Target for new releases. I do feel guilty though for not supporting independent stores.