Bruce’s Lucky Dip: On Location at The Lifeline Bookfest…

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Good morning all! Today’s Lucky Dip is a little bit out of the ordinary, because instead of using the Book Depository’s search engine for my lucky dipping, I decided to send Mad Martha out into the real world to do some dipping at the Lifeline Bookfest!

For those not familiar with the Lucky Dip, it usually involves delving into the BD’s search engine to find the funniest or weirdest titles on a particular search term.  For those unfamiliar with the Lifeline Bookfest, this is a semiannual second-hand book sale put on by the charity Lifeline.  It’s been running for many, many years now, and although I haven’t bothered attending for at least the last six or seven years, I was inspired by a post by Jeann from Happy Indulgence back in January to send Mad Martha out into the world to do some real-life dipping into a large, conveniently located pile of books.  Here’s a picture of her using the public transportation system to arrive safely at her goal:

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How happy she looks to be out amongst the fleshlings! Without further ado, please enjoy the spoils of her toil in our first non-virtual Lucky Dip!

 For those who have become bored with the Where’s Wally? concept and wish to test their observational skills in a real life context:

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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Where’s Kevin?

Although one could just as easily ask the question, where is Macauley Culkin now?

For those who wish to get their kids onto the neverending cycle of fad diets and unattainable body image early, we have The Wizard, The Ugly and the Book of Shame:

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At least, I assume that this book is aimed at dissatisfied women in their 30s.  It certainly sounds like the sort of magazines they read.

For the youngster with a date with the juvenile justice system:

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In case you can’t read that, it’s called Susie and the Wise Hedgehog go to Court. Yep.

If I had the choice between a trained lawyer and a cute little woodland creature I’d probably pick the hedgehog too.

Next is that book on every kid’s TBR pile:

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It’s How Will I Behave Today and the Rest of My Life?

How indeed?! If Susie had read this book early on, maybe she wouldn’t have ended up going to court with a hedgehog, however wise said hedgehog might be.

Now for my favourite book filed in the Children’s section:

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An Australian Murder Almanac: 130 Years of Chilling Crime

I admit, I nearly bought this one.  After all, who could go past a book that labels a collection of murders such as those committed by “The Baby Killers” as a set of “gripping yarns”?

Panic not though, for although this book was obviously placed in the wrong section, I later came across this one:

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A Child’s Book of True Crime

I’m not sure why the cover features a nice collection of Australian wildlife (unless that’s an artist’s impression of the dingo from the Chamberlain case with a hitherto unacknowledged Kookaburra accomplice) but it’s nice to know that kids get their very own tome related to the more base aspects of human nature.

So they were the best that Mad Martha could unearth in the short time that she spent rifling through the books on offer.  She did, however, come across this serendipitous and inspired mash-up of book categories:

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Honestly, you couldn’t script that, could you? Wonder how the New Agers felt about that pairing…

And finally, after coming across piles and piles of these:

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We decided that Stephanie Meyers has a LOT to answer for.  And the same goes for you, Collins:

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There was an absolute abundance of these two sets of books.  Mad Martha didn’t bother looking in the adult fiction but I’m sure there would have been more than a few stacks of Fifty Shades, unable to be sold yet unable to be burned to keep the homeless warm.  A travesty.

So really, that was about it.  Mad Martha mentioned that stepping into the children’s section in the $1 category was like taking a time-bending trip back to a primary school library of the 1980s.  Bliss! She managed to pick up a long sought-after copy of Finders Keepers by Emily Rodda (in our favourite cover too!) and a slightly dog-eared RL Stine book that we recently searched for online but were dismayed to find was now out of print – this will be the focus of an upcoming Tomes of the Olden Times feature!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this unusual Lucky Dip – we’d love to hear if any Brisbanites managed to get down to the Bookfest this time around and whether you picked up any gems.  Or indeed, if anyone has come across some untapped veins of gold in a second hand bookstore in their own wanderings!

Until next time,

Bruce (and Martha)

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If you love books, set them free…..

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Welcome one and all, and let me be the first (from this shelf) to wish you all a happy International Book Giving Day!

Book giving posterWhat, you didn’t know it was International Book Giving Day? Well what did you think today was? The Worldwide Day of Overspending on Chocolates and Flowers? Well, it could be that too. But we prefer to promote book giving day around here, because it might result in someone giving us a book (because, you know, we of the shelf are fairly deficient in that area).  Or maybe not.

A group of people who are somewhat restricted in their access to brand new books however, are those who do not have a fixed place to call home.  Which is why this year, to celebrate IBGD, I will be supporting the Footpath Library!

For those of you who are unaware of the Footpath Library and its mission (as indeed was I up until a few months ago), this fantastic charitable organisation aims to get new books into the hands of those living on the streets, in shelters or hostels, in their cars, on other people’s couches and basically anywhere that isn’t somewhere that any of us would really like to call “home”.  When you think about it, this is a brilliant idea, and one that I would never have considered.  If I paused for a moment to imagine what would happen to we shelf denizens if we were ever to become shelf-less, the one thing we wouldn’t lose would be our love of reading – however it might suddenly become a lot harder to get our collective paws on reading material.  Disaster!

The generous poppets at the Footpath Library are aiming to overcome this problem and well done them, I say.  People can help the Footpath Library by donating books, donating money, donating bookcases or donating knitted items.  For more information about the Footpath Library and how you can get involved, check out their website here, or click on their logo:

footpath library

As the Footpath Library does have a few guidelines as to the condition and content of donated books (which you can also find out about at their website), I have decided to support them by “Shouting for a Cause” – so I have shouted them the cost of a book and a coffee.  I may even make this a regular thing, it’s so easy to do – just click on the Shout for Good link on their webpage and off you go!

So in the flurry of romanticism that always erupts at this time of year, don’t forget to consider passing on the lovingest gift of all to someone you know or someone you don’t – a book!

Until next time,

Bruce

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Books in the afterlife: Upcycled, repurposed and real purty…

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So I have noticed that trendy young things seem to enjoy taking old, unwanted things and making them into equally old, but significantly more wanted things…this is called upcycling, or repurposing, amongst those in the know.  Today I offer you the chance to indulge in enjoyable consumerism, participate in the upcycling trend, and help a charity, all at the same time!

I present, therefore, Rebound Books (http://www.reboundbooks.com/) – an Australian company that upcycles, repurposes and pretties up old books into other useful things, like photo albums, sketchbooks and journals.  And best of all, purchases in their shop raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, a worthy cause if ever there was one.

My favourite product line from this shop is the 2013 journal (example pictured above) which includes the following, according to their website:

  • all the original book pages from a Little Golden Book
  • our own diary design with one week to an opening and a facing blank page (detail in the photo below)
  • the Auslan alphabet
  • a 2013 and 2014 year planner
  • a placemarker ribbon woven in Melbourne
  • only vegetable-based inks printed onto 100% recycled Australian-made paper
  • a full carbon offset for the printing
  • a POCKET made with 100% recycled Australian-made card stock

Honestly, what more could one want?

But for those still greedy for more upcycled, repurposed, book-related, eye candy, you may want to visit re.Create Designs’ pinboard, books redone, and marvel at their collection of books enjoying paradise in the afterlife:

http://m.pinterest.com/recreatedesign/books-redone/

Until next time,

Bruce