Friday, 13 February 2015

Back From Sydney- Company and Books

I had a good trip to Sydney. My sister in law was supposed to have arrived on the Wednesday from Canada and I was to meet her at the airport. However after a Canadian blizzard and then a plane with engine problems the flight from Toronto to Los Angeles was cancelled. The following day the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was full and a seat could not be found so she finally arrived on the Friday morning.

As I had arrived on the Tuesday that left me with almost 3 full days to get into all kinds of book trouble in Sydney.  On the Wednesday I headed straight to Kinokuniya, which is a large, Japanese owned book store in the heart of Sydney.  For those visiting Sydney who have not been there before it is a large, lovely book store in the Victoria Galleries on George Street across from the Queen Victoria building.  Although the books are new I love looking at the large selection of art books, classic fiction, travel writing and Japanese inspired stationery and pens.

Their Facebook cover page

I probably spent a good hour or so just looking at all the books. There is a large section of Books about Books.  I love those books.  I found a wonderful book called "Books- Over 100 Top Ten lists" but more on that further on.

I also like to look at all the classic fiction. They must have every book on classic fiction known to man (new books of course). The have big racks of Penguins and Vintage and I love looking at all of the covers and series. Then I walked down to the travel writing section. There are books about people travelling in country by bicycle, camel, motorbike, walking, sailing. If you can move your body from point A to point B it is in the travel writing section.  I stayed strong and did not buy any as I have many TBR travel books of my own and I am participating the TBR challenge until 1 April.

Next stop was the stationery section. Beautiful Japanese papers, pens with ink of every colour, blank journals (don't you just love the myriad of blank journals on the market).  Then their is the art section which has art history, large coffee table books, graphic books on shelves that seem to not end, graphic arts and all genres of Japanese lit that I can hardly begin to comprehend.  There are some additional areas that are quite large of all books printed in Chinese and Japanese languages but sadly, not speaking or reading these languages I can only look at the covers.

The reference and academic sections also take a large part of the store and I spend quite a bit of time looking at the anthologies of writing from many countries as well as text type books about Australian Lit, American Lit, English Lit and literature books from many other countries.

It is a wonderful store to browse in. So far I had not been too tempted to buy any books. I promised myself I would go in with the attitude of simply browsing.

Then I saw this on the New Books shelves.

All book bloggers share a love of bookish lists.

This book has big heavy pages. It feels wonderful in your hands. There are so many illustrations of book covers. And there are over 100 lists relating to  Top 10 books. It was published in 2014 by Bounty Books which evidently is a subsidiary of Octopus books. I was not familiar with this publisher.  Okay, I picked it up. I also looked through it. Yes I also walked straight to the front counter and put my hard earned cash on the counter and they put it in a bag I bought (yes I saw it on the way to the cash register and it was love at first site. )

Have I read it yet?  No.  I am doing the TBR Challenge until 1 April aren't I. Did I read even one list?  Well I actually did. The book fell open to that page. Do you believe that? Yes I read the page about the top ten Enduring Romantic Heroes in Books.  I did have to know what kind of lists are in this book. According to the Table of Contents the lists revolve around the following categories.

Compelling Characters, Imagine That, Out of This World, Relativity, World of Books and Page Turners. 

It is rather vague but I have I even thumbed through to check out more of the lists? No, I am going to treat myself with this book on April 1. Then I will find a very comfortable seat and I will look into all 100 of the lists.  I might even find a challenge in this book of things to read for the second half of the year.

In the  meantime I continue on with Pat Conroy's Beach Music.  I have to admit I am not reading much this month. It is summer here. We do have company staying in our house and we are exploring Tasmania. We are eating, drinking and laughing our way around this great state of ours. We are filled with good Tasmanian red wine, soft drinks, cheeses, meats, fresh summer berries and produce. We try to read at night after days in the sun and on the road and all we can do is fall asleep.

We have visited the Wooden Boat festival down at the harbour that is held every 2 years. We have also had lunch at GrandVewe. It is a sheep dairy farm with a wonderfully modern restaurant where you can taste their variety of cheeses and then have a glass of wine, or beer or a great cappuccino, Devonshire teas and lunch as one looks over the river and the fields of green and sheep. It is truly beautiful. Photos of each are below.
Wooden Boat Festival- 2015

The view from the restaurant at Grandvewe

We will be forging our way through February quite quickly I think with many more adventures on the agenda. Tuesday will be a seaplane trip off the coast of the state so stay tuned as the Penguin does more travelling in his home state.


  1. I've never been in to Kinokuniya despite seeing the sign many times when I've come out of the QVB (generally after crossing through from Abbey's), so I have put it on my list for next time I'm in Sydney. Just the sound of the stationery alone makes my mouth water.

  2. Oh my gosh, you will love it. Be sure you go. The Japanese and other stationery is great fun and they have millions of books or so it seems and arranged in wonderful categories like independent book stores not like volume stores full of remainders which I never go in.


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