Book Porn Shots from Australia

I love books. They are my biggest material indulgence. I currently have four overflowing 72″ bookcases and enough books in boxes to fill a fifth case when I can afford it. I especially love used books. A used book can contain all sorts of experiential treasures: a carefully penned inscription inside the cover, a slightly musty smell, an interesting illustrated cover on a rare printing of a beloved story, little scraps of paper from previous owners, and a general air of history (and sometimes mystery!).

So it’s no surprise that I love wandering through used bookstores. I visited several while on my two week vacation down under. My favorite store was in a neighborhood called Newtown, a collegiate bohemian area southwest of the central business district of Sydney. Gould’s Book Arcade was a massive two-story labyrinth of shelves packed so high with brightly colored tomes that wandering its aisles felt like taking a kaleidoscopic subway ride.

And like all good bookstores do, it had its quirks, including a sign indicating that a certain window was part of the ‘cat pathway’ and needed to remain book free. Underneath the sign was a long-winded but entertaining story about the sometime-resident stray cat, Oscar. Oscar wanders in and out of Gould’s at will, and customers are instructed to treat him with kindness and respect, and above all, not obstruct his egress.

I had a good laugh over these signs, and a great time browsing the many shelves and cluttered corners of Gould’s. I could have stayed there all day, were it not for the tickets I had to see Macbeth that evening at the Opera House. Anyway, I snapped some pics so I could remember how much I enjoyed visiting there. I hope they capture the feeling.

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