I assure you, my intentions were honourable. I was going to pop in for a moment, buy a single book, and pop out again. That was the plan; that was the intent. Having established via that fount of wisdom, booko, that Gleebooks was selling the Limited Edition of Alex Miller’s Lovesong for the same price as the regular version, I decided to grab it on the way home from work. The best of intentions.
I realised two things upon entering the shop: firstly, I hadn’t got round to renewing my membership, which in turn led to the second realisation: the annual (January) sale was upon us once more. If I had renewed my membership at the appropriate time, I would have known and taken steps to avoid the temptation. However, walking in this afternoon, I was entirely unprepared, and immediately, I was assailed with tempting delights. I at least gave myself a time limit (as I was visiting my mother later) and did not peruse the heavily laden trestle tables as well as I might otherwise have done. I emerged 30 minutes later with only 6 books and thankfully, Alex Miller’s Lovesong. The 6 scores, I mean delightful tomes of interest, include:
- Australian Wine Vintages 2009 by Robin Bradley with Robert Geddes  – I try to get one of these every few years and the last edition I got was 2006 and for $10, how can I say no?
- Gamer Theory by McKenzie Wark  – I’ve always had a soft spot for Wark’s material and I’m interested in what he has to contribute to the conversation.
- A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia by Thomas Keneally  – It’s Keneally, ’nuff said…and at $19 for the first edition hard cover, a bargain.
- Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood  – a book I nearly bought a year ago at the sales and have finally relented.
- The Passionate Bibliophile: The Story of Walter Stone, Australian Bookman Extraordinaire by Jean Stone  – I have a soft spot for those who share the bibliophile disease and for a mere five bucks, this had to be a keeper.
- Mapping Colonial Conquest: Australia and Southern Africa by Norman Etherington (editor)  – This extends my interest in atlases and maps and such, and looks at the politics of mapping and the role of cartography in colonial conquest.
I think I did ok and was remarkably restrained. However it probably means I may well [attempt] to delay the purchase of other books. Oh yes, I was able to renew my membership on the spot and count my purchases upon it.
[update: just sat down to commence Lovesong; browsed through the opening leaves and realised that not only is it a special edition, it’s limited to 500 copies, autographed, and the one I grabbed from the various piles at Gleebooks happens to be no.9!]