Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lifeline Bookfest

Many people who come to our home comment on how many books we have.  The removalists regularly complain at pack-up and un-pack that we have too many books.  Frankly, to have too many books rather than too few is the condition I prefer.  Anyway, to this end as we have posted around the country we have tracked down secondhand book shops and Lifeline bookfairs.  Lifeline is a mental health charity that raises money by having huge secondhand bookfairs.

We have been to Lifeline fairs in Sydney and Toowoomba but this past long weekend we decided it was worth the drive down to Brisbane to visit the fair there - the summer one was cancelled because of the floods.  Sob.  The Brisbane fair is the biggest secondhand book fair in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is held over four days.  Because we had been up the coast for the long weekend to visit my best friend, DH decided to take the Tuesday off so we could go.

Oh my goodness.  Three convention hall rooms were taken up with books and this was the last day.  Because it was the last day the books had been rather picked over but gems could still be found for a song.  In the bargain hall it was fill a giant shopping bag for $5, the middle hall fill a plastic bag for $10 or 3 for $20, and the high end books were all half price (at most about $3 each).  Thankfully Ginger was feeling in a good mood because we were there for four hours.

Ginger did best of all, but my haul came a pretty close second.  Because we have access to these fairs I rarely buy any new books these days.  I did particularly well for children's books in the cheap hall because I tend towards older titles.  It seems most people are after the disneyesque.  DH was happy with his finds but he is fussy reading only classics and history so his choice is limited.

Here is all our loot as my husband calls it!

Here are some of the children's gems.

Just love Shirley Hughes' illustrations.

 I didn't have this as a child but I hear from blogland that it's a classic.

Some Little Grey Rabbit books to add to our collection for when Ginger is older.  Somehow between DH and I we ended up with two copies of this title and when we got home we already had it!  Good thing I have now started a children's books catalogue.

By Astrid Lindgren the author of Pippi Longstockings.

 The two boardbooks we were missing from the Martha B Rabbit series.  We found the other two in a charity shop back home and I wanted to get the rest of the series because one of the character's shares Ginger's real name - given her name is rather old fashioned this is unusual.  The only other children's book character with the same name we have found appears in Beatrix Potter.

 I got so excited about finding an Elsa Beskow I forgot to check its condition.  It is like this throughout with the exception of one or two pages.  So Sad.  I have decided to cut the good pages out and put them away for hanging in any future little boy's room.

Again, this series was brought to my attention the my blog wanderings.  So far I have managed to track down Winter and Autumn at charity shops and now Summer Story.  Just Spring to find!

Here are a few of my choice adult picks:

I read about this years ago in the New York Times book reviews and have wanted to read it ever since.

Teresa of Avila fascinates me.

I love Salley Vickers' writing and have read several of her books.  Her books marry the spiritual with the ordinary.

I read White Gardenia by Belinda Alexandra and it was fascinating - all about White Russians in China when the communist revolution began.  I look forward to Wild Lavender.

Just looked fun.

Now we just need shelving for them.  Luckily our neighbours are going back to the UK in a couple of weeks and since they are not being replaced are shedding their worldly goods - we are buying their bookcase:)  Meantime they are stacked on top of our current bookcases.

So, what are you currently reading or looking forward to reading?


  1. Oh goodness, what an amazing fair! Our local library has a book fair twice a year to sell off books that are being weeded out and duplicate donations, but nothing like that! Three convention rooms full at once sounds like a dream come true.

  2. I love books so much! I love what you found! Martha B. is new to me. I ordered one of that author's fairy books and I'm hoping it will come today. Brambly Hedge is amazing! Our girls loved them!
    I have the shelf problem, too. I must rearrange here and at school. I keep buying.
    Ginger is a good book shopper, too!

  3. I cannot even imagine a virtual book orgy like that! Goodness me!

    I work in a library that has an ongoing used book sale. This can be dangerous for a bookophile like myself. I too don't buy new books. At this point I have limited myself to what fits on the four bookshelves I have until we buy a house, hopefully this year. I don't need any more shelves or books to move.... Still, I am with you on preferring too many to not enough! I also loan them out to friends and look up things in them quite regularly which makes them a very worthwhile possession in my opinion.

    It looks like you made out well at the fair. Happy reading!

  4. I've been to a few lIfeline book fairs before and from memory it's all a bit manic at the start! Lots of goodies to be had though. How can you go wrong with books!