National Bookshop Day the Third

Today is – though it’s almost over – National Bookshop Day. Last year I wrote a Monday Musings post on Australia’s second National Bookshop Day. It’s good to see that the momentum continues.

In last year’s post I named some of my favourite local bookshops – and nothing has changed in that regard except that Smith’s Alternative Bookshop has reinvented itself as an arts event venue but still with some books and a bookish focus.

So, this year, I thought I’d give a guernsey to my favourite second-hand bookshop. I don’t buy a lot of secondhand books, but when I do (or when I want to sell), I go to Beyond Q in Curtin. It has an extensive range of fiction, including classic Australian fiction, as well as a wonderful collection of old Penguins. Mr Gums likes the shop for its small collection of foreign language books, so we visit there every time he’s finished his latest German book. The collection is eclectic, and includes books originally published in other languages and translated into German – such as books by Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon. These often best suit Mr Gums’ competent but not expert German skills.

But there are other reasons we go to Beyond Q, because it is more than a bookshop. It also has a lovely little cosy cafe and offers live music most Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons (with entry via donation requested). It’s a happening little place in suburban Canberra, and we like it.

So, happy National Bookshop Day to my favourite bookshops … and I just want to let you know that as far as I’m concerned, every day is bookshop day!

17 thoughts on “National Bookshop Day the Third

  1. Thanks for the post. I’ll come refer back to it when I’m next in Canberra. I love 2nd hand bookshops! I heard about Mr Smith’s today so quickly checked it out tonight. The music was good but I didn’t go in because after an intense day at a web development workshop I wanted quiet and time to myself. But I will definitely return to it – the music tonight was good!

  2. Can you believe that second-hand bookshops have almost gone extinct here. Or, even indie new book stores. Why, all because of the maga chain stores… Chapters/Indigo. But I’m afraid they are facing huge hurdles too nowadays. And, too bad we don’t have any national bookshop day like yours to promote book business. As for second-hand books, I get them, haul them back home every year at our gigantic Book Sale in the city. I usually can find dozens of like-new conditions books I want to read. All at $2.

    • That’s interesting Arti. The chains have reduced significantly in Canberra but a few independents are hanging on … And the two second hand shops I most frequent … Should have mentioned the other too, Canty’s, seem to be going well. I’d use them more if I were seeking books but I’m trying to prepare for downsizing now. Not very successfully but in my mind!
      I should say that bookshops aren’t finding it easy here, which seems to be why the chains have reduced dramatically. But we are a reading city and like our independents.

    • Fair enough too Guy … When I drive through country Australia I often think to myself that living in rural towns would be so much easier now. I like country towns but the book situation always bothered me. No more … It’s nice to be able to visit a shop but the most critical thing is being able to get books isn’t it?

  3. My local! That was my cafe/bookshop local! Though it creates feelings in me now, even thinking about it, because it was always where Jerome and I met. xo

  4. Here in my part of the USA there has been a little bit of resurgence in independently owned bookstores since the demise of a mega – chain that was pushing the competition into extinction. I so hope that this continues as I think book sellers are my favorite businesses. Sadly, we have way too few used bookstores locally.

    • That’s great to hear Brian. I’m not sure there’s been a resurgence here but they seem to be surviving better. I wonder if it’s the case that online bookselling has affected the big chains more than the independent stores because the latter have tended to offer something more than “just” books?

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