Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bookstore Reviews Time!

I was out and about today with a friend and found we were able to find two bookstores to review.  After we ate at the Pancake Manor on Charlotte Street, Will and I walked a few doors down and found ourselves outside the narrow doorway to Archives Books.  This bookstore is a large old building here in Brisbane and has been a part of the city CBD since the 1920's when a printer named John Miller owned it.  This building - and the one behind it - is in some of the oldest areas of Brisbane; and it's all still here being used.  There is a stairway between the front John Miller Himself Building and the one behind which faces a laneway, which is attached to the main building via a wooden stairway (which was once exposed but is now covered and has been fixed up in recent years).
The interior of the back building has had a facelift in the last decade where the owners put in floating floors and added in extra shelving to accommodate for more books; as well as beautiful long, lush red drapes for the windows at the back.  However, the books are what the people come for; as I do too.
However as with all old buildings, this one has had its share of strange happenings.  My friend, Will, and I were happy and comfortable in the first, larger building where there were many isles of books to find and possibly read, however, once we climbed those back steps, we felt something change.  This back building wasn't alone... it wasn't a happy place.  We both felt an energy shift and it bothered us.  So, Will returned to the front desk and asked if there was anything special about the buildings - besides them being old - and the owners told him that in the alley between the buildings there had been a murder.  When Will told me about this, we figured it was a little wonder there were spirits stuck in the rear building... they had nowhere to go but to stick around this place until they were let go.  However, I've been coming into this store - and going into the back building of Archives - and have been getting the willies each time and not known why (thinking it was just me not feeling so good after I've eaten something); and now I know why, I'm glad it's not me and it's the building.  
Other than the ghosts bumping around the place bothering us mortals looking for something great to read, this place has been a great haunt of my own to go to each time I visit Brisbane City.  I enjoy the huge variety of written works here and always find a great book in this place whenever I need to find it.

The next place we were off to was The American Bookstore.  Will wanted to find a Latin Dictionary; and seeing there wasn't any at Archives, we took a wander to Elizabeth Street to find what he needed at this great bookstore.  Now, The American Bookstore isn't a big one, but is a very interesting place.  This bookstore has titles from America you may not find anywhere else.  They can get books in for you if you wish about great Americans - even if they're out of print, they'll find it for you second-hand so long you pay in advance - and they are a lovely store too! And so, while I was here, I ordered in a book I had been looking for since 2005:  Christian Slater's Biography 'Back From the Edge' by Nigal Goodall; and they found it in the UK for $35.00 in hardcover, second-hand; and I had to pay for it before it arrived.  The place is gorgeously set out; however it was a little hard to find as it had moved a few doors down the street and downstairs instead of being on the street; which makes it a very well-hidden and quiet kind of place.  However, if you have a disability, there's no way of getting into it without using the stairs.  Will loved this place, but the Latin Dictionary he was looking for wasn't there.

So, we moved onto Dymocks on Elizabeth Street.  This is a relatively new  two-storey one that just opened some months back; and has been doing great business since Borders closed across the road.  Will found his Dictionary here and we took a wander around this very crowded, busy store full of bargain-hunters and readers all looking for that particular book!  He found another book he wanted and - while I rushed off to the toilets - he bought his reading material and met me outside Starbucks (yes, we still have them here; and no I don't drink their coffee).  We walked around the Queen Street Mall for a bit before parting ways; agreeing it was a great day we had.  And we had a good look at some great bookstores - two of which he hadn't been to before and was pleased he found with me.  I'm just pleased I could review these bookstores for you.  I totally enjoyed finding these three stores and looking them over for you today... maybe next time, I'll have a look into West End and see what I find there!  Until my next post, happy reading!

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