Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Readable Feast

It was a shame to read of the closing of Reader's Feast, the Melbourne city bookshop run for two decades by Mary Dalmau.

I spent many an hour - some might say 'idled', but readers know better - in Reader's Feast on Swanston Street, and spoken at literary festivals sponsored and run by the bookshop (e.g. Writers at the Convent).

So it was a real pleasure to visit Mary's new Reader's Feast, recently launched in Georges on Collins Street.  Ruth and I dropped in late, but still had a chance to take in the swanky new premises, and good selection of books. The staff were, as always, helpful but unpretentious.

The stone floors, chandeliers and columns give the shop a grander tone.  I particularly liked the feature bookcases, like the 'In Translation' shelf (see photo, top left): a way to focus attention.  The whole shop gives the impression that books are something to be celebrated, not simply sold.

Logistically, the new space is important.  For example, many shelves had their covers facing outwards, which is a boon for authors. (I confess my interests here: I found Distraction in the Philosophy bookcase, with its pink title facing me.)

My eye was caught by some new (ancient) Norse sagas, and Penguin classics for the family.  But we only got started, really - the entree of the feast, so to speak.

Good appetite, Melbourne readers.

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