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One small step for a bookshop…

We’re about to embark on something huge. For a couple of Adelaide locals with a passion for books it’s massively huge (our passion for strict grammar notwithstanding). We’re going to have a bookshop on Adelaide’s main stage, Rundle Mall, during the Christmas season! This means more to us than words can express but we think it goes a bit beyond us…

Why this is important for Books:

It may have struck some people that the book industry is having a tough time of it – the impact of online sales coupled with the advent of e-reading driving many bookshops out of business. The number of bookshops in Adelaide has decreased markedly in the last couple of years to a level approaching embarrassing (for a capital city supposedly hanging its hat on its arts culture).

Adelaide’s Pop-up Bookshop has been fighting to keep books in the public eye despite misguided opposition from those who should be supporting us in the fight. We want to reunite people with their old favourites and remind them what it is that connects them with books. This can’t be done by sitting around and hoping for a return to ‘them good old days’ or pleading with people to ‘buy local’ or ‘support our industry’.

This Christmas, as always, we’re preaching to the unconverted – those who have strayed from the literary path or have forgotten that bookshops exist.

We promise a bookshop (and Rundle Mall) experience unlike any other – it’s not for everyone, but we like to think it should be. And the more people we get back on the bookwagon, the healthier the book world becomes.

Why this is important for Adelaide:

There are so many people doing great things in Adelaide right now and, even better, it’s a groundswell of simultaneous inspirations rather than a leader taking charge. We’re just another tiny piece of this amazing puzzle. We’re only little, but we do books really well – just like other locals who do coffee really well, or burgers really well, or street art really well, or wine, or playgrounds, or websites, or furniture, or… well, there are too many to mention. And whenever a local stands up and says “this is what I do best and I want everyone to know about it,” Adelaide gets that little bit closer to being truly one of the world’s great cities.

Oh yeah. And, even if it’s just for a short while, we’re taking a bit of our Rundle Mall back for the locals (thank you very much, multi-nationals)! We’re in that envious position where we don’t have to plead with people to ‘buy local’ – we only encourage the public to treat themselves to the best. The fact that the best things in Adelaide are being done by the locals is Just. Freaking. Awesome.

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The New Asterix

Not sure about you, but when I was a boy, it was Tintin or Asterix. You could do both – but you had to have a favourite. Mine was Tintin (but probably only because my Dad encouraged Asterix).

However, even having declared my allegiance to the boyish Belgian, there is still something special about the gallant Gaul. And so, when the opportunity arose to attend the launch of the new Asterix book Asterix Chez Les Pictes I was always going to consider it worth going. This one had a few bonuses though:

  1. The launch was at famed Paris bookstore L’Ecume des Pages
  2. This was the first Asterix book for 8 years and the first by new creators (Jean-Yves Ferri & Didier Conrad)
  3. It was attended by Ferri & Conrad who chatted and signed copies (for VIPs – not moi!)
  4. It was attended by Asterix & Obelix (see pics)
  5. It had one of those all-important midnight exclusive releases

So, all in all, I have to say I’ve ticked something off the bucket-list-I-didn’t-know-I-had list purely by walking the streets in a city where there’s something happening all the time.

 

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Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Ooh-la-la. The 6th arrondissement is home to one of Paris’ must-visit areas, St-Germain-des-Pres. Renowned as the haunt of literary luminaries Sartre & de Beauvoir, it is no surprise to find it has a plethora of wonderful bookshops, many specialising in art books to complement the even-more-plentiful art galleries.

My highlight was definitely Taschen. Nobody quite does big beautiful books quite like this publishing house and their shop was an artwork in itself. No wonder I was just one of many to walk through the doors, mouth agape (managed not to drool on any of the books though).

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Pop-up Shops: Threat or Opportunity?

Pretty chuffed to have an opinion piece published in Indaily – Adelaide’s online newspaper. It deals a bit with books, but is largely about pop-ups in general and how Adelaide might be able to benefit from thinking a bit more positively and encouraging cooperation. Click here to read the article on InDaily’s site.

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Les Librairies de Paris

Wow. Obviously we’re into books, so it’s understandable that we would seek out some bookshops when we’re out and about. But Paris is incredible!

Having spent some time a couple years back, we knew a little but today we weren’t even looking for bookshops and just kept tripping over them. Yes, we visited Shakespeare & Co, and Les Bouquinistes on the Seine but barely a street exists, it would seem, without a bookseller tending their stock. C’est magnifique!