My Favourite Bookshops
Last weekend I visited Ballarat and called in to see Tracey at Collins Booksellers Ballarat on Lydiard.
I met Tracey a few years ago when I was signing Little Dog and the Christmas Wish which was the theme for the Myer Ballarat Windows in 2016 and again in 2017 for One Christmas Eve.
At that time, Collins Booksellers were located opposite Myer in a large, quite open bookshop space.
Almost a year ago they relocated to new premises at 22 Lydiard St North, a beautiful heritage listed store.
I was unable to make the opening celebration last year, so Saturday was my first visit and oh what a treat it was!
Stepping inside customers are greeted by floor to ceiling books – thousands of beautiful books, beautiful wooden floors and beautiful pressed metal ceilings. Sharing some of the bookshelves are precious ‘booky- type’ gifts, like the perfect box of 100 post cards of the world’s greatest bookstores I bought. (I can’t wait to open it.) There is also a glorious display of cards, some from local artists.
The bookshelves were made by a local craftsman and they have been designed so that no book can fall from the shelves and there is plenty of room to display the picture books (my favourite area) face out. Specific genres are highlighted by gold lettering and everywhere I looked there was a feeling of warmth, comfort and quality.
Of course there were heaps of customers and lots of excited children still interested in the Harry Potter competition which had actually finished the day before.
I heard one little girl pleading with her mother, a copy of Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy held fast in her hand, ‘Can we please buy just one more book?’ The children’s area was also warm and inviting and did I mention the shelves and shelves of gorgeous books?
There was one window displayed with an about to be released title by Black Dog Books, Mallee Sky by local author Jodi Toering and talented illustrator Tannya Harricks. It certainly had a London bookshop feel about it – complete with an old-fashioned clock and an old-fashioned carousel, peering-distance from the window.
I had to drag myself away. For those of you Ballarat locals who haven’t made a visit yet, treat yourselves and for visitors from Melbourne, elsewhere in Australia and overseas, don’t leave it off your list of the best things to see and do in Ballarat.
Next week’s blog post will be about another one of my favourite bookshops, this one a little closer to Melbourne.