Saturday, 10 June 2006

Got a tip from be_zen8 in a comment to this blog that there's a sale on at Gleebooks this long weekend. So after showering I stopped off at Campsie shopping centre to do my weekend shopping. Then I headed off to see what they had on offer.

The first section of my journey mirrored the trajectory I traced last weekend. But instead of crossing Parramatta Road at Leichhardt, I turned right into it and followed it up to Sydney University, where I turned left into Ross Street. Then right into St John's Road, where I parked. Walked up to the old Gleebooks shop at No. 191 Glebe Point Road and discovered I'd gone to the wrong place. So I trekked down to the new shop at No. 49 and up the stairs on the left.

There are three tables with sale books. Many are non-fiction titles, with a fair collection of Palgrave editions on things like marketing and globalisation. Not that many novels, unfortunately. I spent $24.95 on four books. They are:

Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon, Don Watson (2004)
Tietam Brown: A Novel, Mick Foley (2003)
Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women's Verse, with an introduction by Germaine Greer (1988)
Gregory's Canberra 2004 Street Directory

On the way back I stopped in at Cornstalk Bookshop to see what had happened to their shop in King Street, Newtown, which closed some months ago. "Everybody says that," said Resh, the girl at the computer to the left as you walk in, when I asked why it had shut. Why did they close? "Rent," she said. Apparently the building's owners kept putting up the rent until it became uneconomical. They had sales at 25%, 50% then 75% of the sticker price and finally a bloke with a bookshop across the road bought the rest.

It's sad, to see a good outlet shut down. Especially one like Cornstalk which had been there so long. The awning on King Street still says Cornstalk Bookshop, but the shop itself is gone, never to return. Paul Feain, who runs Cornstalk, keeps mostly Australiana at his Glebe Point Road store, so the general second-hand stuff has just disappeared. I wonder if he'll open another outlet in the future.

My return journey exactly mirrored my outward trajectory. It started to rain. I was flicking the wipers on and off from Crystal Street, and at Canterbury Road switched them to intermediate mode. Hopefully it'll keep raining for a few more days. We need it.

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