Day 1 –
We (Antique Bookshop & Curios & I), arrived yesterday afternoon, with a car load of books and ten more boxes being taken down by a truck. The long trip from Sydney to Melbourne (approximately 9hrs) had been broken into two sections, and it was just as well that it did, as we were delayed for 1.5hrs after we got a flat tyre and then had to detour into the nearest town to spend a couple of hundred dollars on replacement tyres. Having a flat is bad enough, having it when you have to removes boxes from the car in order to access the spare is just phenomenally annoying!
This is the second bookfair trip to Melbourne I’ve taken with Peter and although I am not technically part of his bookshop menagerie, merely an occasional helper and contributor of a column to his monthly catalogue, I am starting to feel a sense of peripheral belonging which I must confess that I quite enjoy.
The antiquarian booktrade in Australia is a small community, the dealers all know each other and the ANZAAB bookfairs are the only opportunity for them to get together, talk book talk, socialise, and catch up.
By the time we arrived this morning just after 10am, most dealers had already started setting up. The last bookfair, which was held in Sydney, unfortunately did not attract as many dealers as in previous years. This year, there are 28 dealers, including some exhibiting for the first time.
The location, Malvern Town Hall, was built in 1866. It now serves as the local government offices, its hall being rented out for community and other events such as this.
It is now 1pm and the fair starts in 5 hours. Half the dealers, including usw appear to be close to finishing setting up and its all looking pretty good!
Y. (aka your friendly neighbourhood bookfair slave)