Friday, April 16, 2010

Frenzied and Feverish at the Lifeline Bookfair.

It can only speak to my love of both a bargain and books and magazines that I managed to get up early yesterday and brave the Lifeline Book fair queue despite being in the midst of a really evil flu. This is a date that has been marked on the calendar for months and eagerly anticipated by Ruby and myself all week - not going was not an option. But boy was it worth it. I can't tell you what we spent (really I can't - it's been pushed to the darkest recess of my brain unaccessable by anyone but the most skilled hypnotist) and anyway I like to think of it as an investment. After all when I am done with the many lifestyle and fashion mags I can sell them on ebay can't I? Or else cut them up into a fetching collage. Even stack them into a clever room divider when relatives come to visit.
It's a funny atmosphere at the fair though. Bookish sorts queueing for hours as though tickets for some world class rock band are on the verge of selling out. They set themselves up on little chairs. They have their thermos of tea. I say they becuase Ruby and I are far more relaxed about it. All we had was a snack and a book to keep our mind off the wait. And our little granny shopper to quickly wheel our stash out when we finnish. But everyone had those and you've gotta level out the playing field haven't you?
Once the doors opened and the crowd got moving you could feel the effort this well read crowd was exerting not to be pushy - no hurry, enough books in there for everyone! - seemed to be the outward message but meanwhile a competitive undercurrent was barely being suppressed. It was as if they were thinking "What if I get in the door and just as I suss out the magazine section someone is walking away with Italian Vogues???" Okay, maybe that was just me. 
In the end you know there are not going to be any Italian Vogues but you hope all the same because that's what is so exciting about the book fair - walking in is like an Aladdin's cave and amazing bargains are to be had. Ultimately I did end up with a few UK Vogues - though they were old and had lots of cut outs (who would do such a thing??) - but was thrilled to find some Frankie mags in mint condition plus some copies of Inside Out  to add to my collection. Once the little Granny shopper was full I went to the kids section where Ruby had elatedly bagged lots of cool titles she had been wanting to read. The whole exercise hadn't taken long but by that point I was feverish with flu and the strange magazine frenzy which had taken me over only minutes before (leading, I imagine, to the dud British Vogues finding their way into the granny shopper). I was sweating uncomfortably and for a moment thought I might faint. "Let's go" I said to Ruby, totally over it, grabbing a couple of mint condition Notebook magazines from a nearby box as I passed (they often have a great craft article....). We paid up and lugged our loot back to the car. It was a gorgeous Canberra Autumn day, crisp aired and blue skied. Instead of going home we stopped in civic. The city was all athrong on this sunshiney week day  and so, picking a few of our bookfair finds out of the boot, we chose the cafe with the comfiest cushions and the most flavoursome coffee and made ourselves at home. Heaven!


  1. I went last year in Sydney and had a great time. i am a complete book freak so i admit i was trying to be civil but was silently freaking out thinking 'i hope i haven't missed out on the good stuff! (what the 'good stuff' is is totally subjective but hey). it is amazing the panic books can insight in one. Hope you are feeling better soon. ox

  2. Arggh, away at the coast having a less than fab time (will fill you in on all that mess when next we meet) and missed my 217th book fair in a row. In fact I have, shamefully only ever been to one. Next time..
    will call you tomorrow, hope flu is better xxx

    PS word of the day verification wise is feleart - want to even try to define that for me???

  3. how come I never never ever know when the Lifeline Bookfair is on. i think I have been once in all my Canberra lifetime. great description. let me know next time it is on.