Sometimes you can find interesting book related exhibits in small museums like this early 19th century hand drawn pattern book. It’s on display at the old Courthouse in the Guildford Heritage Precinct which is 12km from the centre of Perth. The book was given to Sophie Roe, who was the eldest child of John Septimus Roe, the surveyor who laid out the towns of Perth and Guildford in the 1830s.
There is still a lot to see in and around Geraldton which is reminiscent of Randolph Stow and his classic novel. You can walk along Gregory Street, where Stow lived and admire the old style houses. And you can look at Geraldton Primary School (below), which both Stow and his fictional hero Rob attended.
Stow attended the University of Western Australia and lectured at universities in Australia and England. He wrote eight novels and three books of poetry, plus a children’s story and several opera libretti, and won the Miles Franklin Award in 1958 for his novel To the Islands. He lived in Britain from 1966 until his death in 2010. The Geraldton Public Library has the Randolph Stowe collection which includes personal items donated by the author.
The seaside town of Geraldton, 415km north of Perth, was the birthplace of writer, Randolph Stow. Born on 28 November 1935, Stow wrote about his childhood in and around the town of Geraldton in the novel, “The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea”.
There are several different merry-go-rounds in the novel. The one in the sea was actually a shipwreck off the main swimming beach, but the beach has been redeveloped and the wreck is gone.
The second merry-go-round is the one that appears in the opening chapter of the novel. Amazingly, it is still there, beneath a spreading Moreton Bay fig tree alongside the old two storey library building. The current merry-go-round is a replica of the one in the novel, which had already fallen into disrepair during the closing chapters of the book.
The Subiaco Christmas Night of Lights was a fun event held on Rokeby Road last Friday. We enjoyed the food, entertainment and fun atmosphere, and also picked up a couple of free books. The City of Subiaco public library were giving away unwanted stock and we picked up a novel by Tom Keneally and a history of “William Dampier in New Holland”.
The Dymocks bookstore on Rokeby Road in Subiaco has a new owner. Tim, who is still only in his twenties, and must be Perth’s youngest bookseller, has stocked the store with heaps of interesting books. It’s good to see a local book shop that is thriving.
We were at the Bonjour Perth festival in Subiaco on Saturday. A very fun event with French food and entertainment and even this French bookstore in a bus. Selling mostly educational and children’s books in French, the bus seems to be Perth-based. But for November the bus will be at various locations on the east coast of Australia, including at Wagga Wagga NSW this Saturday (Oct 28) and Canberra on Sunday.
On a cold wet winter’s day, there is nothing better to do than spend some time browsing in a cosy bookshop. A few months ago we spent some time in Megalong Books in Leura in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Lot of nooks and crannies to investigate in this well-stocked shop.
The Lane Bookshop is hidden away in Old Theatre Lane off Bayview Terrace in Claremont. It has an excellent selection of books and you could spend hours browsing.
Hayley Welsh is another Perth-based artist whose work is closely associated with books. Recently we spotted one of her little creatures on the wall of the Lane Bookshop in Claremont.
More original art by Kyle Hughes-Odgers from the “One Thousand Trees” exhibition at the State Library (see previous post). The book is published by Fremantle Press.