One of the most common comments I hear in the shop is about the long list (physical or imagined) of unread books we have or want to own/read. So many books, so little time ...
I saw a meme yesterday with a picture of a floating woman in a library holding a book - it said 'returning as a ghost so you can keep reading for eternity' - yes please!
For many of us buying a book while others sit unread is a source of guilt. I certainly feel pressure to buy and read many of the books that come into the shop. Not only to help sell them - although I am sure it would make me a better bookseller, but because there are so many great books published each year, that I really want to read.
This isn't unique to book lovers, I hear (and share) the same lament about the collectables in the shop and notebooks. I see the joy of buying that pretty china cup and saucer, notebook or book conflicting with feelings of guilt as customers mumble that they don't need another one, have too many, or are simply adding to their bedside stack of unread books.
I have read several articles recently about why we shouldn't feel guilt over what the Japanese call tsundoku. There are benefits in having your own library at home, it is certainly good for children to be raised with access to, and around books. While I know this is a 3rd world problem and we are so lucky to be in a position to own nice things, I do wonder what drives the guilt and is this new? Is it because these are seen as luxury items? They feel like a treat we don't deserve? I definitely get that nagging feeling when I buy stationery, but not when I buy take away lunch and coffees (Ok, I do, but less often :-)). Does that mean the accumulation of 'things' is a driver (thanks Marie Kondo)? Is it tied to the negative view of clutter and consumerism, or is sustainability (print books are not exactly environmentally friendly, although that is changing) on our minds?
Lauren Winzar made some great points on this in a recent article.
24th June 10.30 Robyn Cadwallader at Crookwell Library
Steam Hive workshops - local artist and art educator Akka Ballanger is running workshops for kids in the book store, every few weeks on a Monday after school. We have had wonderful feedback from the events held so far, so sign up for the next one!
Karen Brooks has a new book out in early July, The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson. Her last book The Good Wife of Bath was very popular and enjoyed by our Last Wednesday Book Club members.
Trent Dalton's newby Lola in the Mirror is out in October. His previous books became a fast classic and are loved by many. I have read All Our Shimmering Skies and his others are on my 'to read' list.
Books on The Voice are coming thick and fast, just as the legislation passed Parliament this week. I read a proof copy of Statements of the Soul, a collections of essays from religious leaders in Australia on the moral reasons to vote yes. I loved the linkages made and connections between different migrant and Indigenous communities and how a yes vote relates to the central tenets in many religions. I learnt about the history of relationships with early non-European settlers (cameleers etc), and pre-colonisation trading.
If you are like me and like to read to learn more about a topic, these are essential reading!
This week is Refugee Week. The theme this year is Finding Freedom, something that seems to be coming harder and harder for those fleeing war and persecution.
I have books in the shop written by refugees, asylum seekers and those who work with them - a great way of learning about their experiences and how our policies impact their lives.
The Yass Rural Australians for Refugees are holding an event at Trader & Co on Friday evening. It is free and should be a great night!
I started a new part time job last week, in Canberra. I am hoping I'll be able to work from home for a couple of those days once I settle in. For the time being Helen will be in the shop on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Akka is helping out by working Wednesdays. I will be there on Friday and Saturdays. I may have to reduce the days we are open over winter, while it is quiet during the week.
Our first author event at Yazzbar, with Robyn Cadwallader and Barbie Robinson was a success. It was a great discussion on a wonderful book and the atmosphere was very civilised. The next event at Yazzbar starts a bit later so you'll have time for lunch before the talk starts. It was lovely to be able to pop in to Tyger Gallery and The Spotty Rose across the road after the event.
I have been sick with a cold on and off for 2 months now and am hoping this week will be the last of it with a second lot of antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler to see it off.
I hope you are all staying warm and well and are armed with a good book or two. I have been working through that ever present pile of unread books while stuck in bed, with cats and a kitten.