Good Reading : December January 2008
DECEMBER 2007/JANUARY 2008 ı goodreading 19 fully booked Bright’s closest neighbour is Myrtleford, a town many drive through unsuspectingly on their way to the snow. Margery, who bought into Bibliomania three years ago with her busi- ness partner Joan, is pleased to have found a way to share her obsession with books. An avid reader, paperback collector and published poet, she came across the opportunity by chance after an injury put her out of work for a few months. ‘It was always my dream to work in a bookshop,’ said Margery. ‘I was in limbo about work at the time, then I walked past the bookshop in town and there was a sign that said “partner wanted”. I think it was meant to be.’ Margery added quality stock she had been collecting for potential resale at markets. As the shop’s business picked up, she found a niche in children’s books. ‘I like children’s books, and I hadn’t realised until customers mentioned it just how many I’d stocked up,’ she said. ‘People like the sets I have, such as the Hardy Boys and the Power Boys, and Enid Blyton of course.’ Next stop on the Alpine drive after Myrtleford was the established and extremely well organised double-storey book haven, Good Reading in Benalla.With comfy reading chairs and corners to hide in, it would be easy to lose yourself for hours.The number of rooms and books would be overwhelming were it not for the easy-to-follow categorisation and well- labelled shelving. It was hardly surprising to learn that owner Delfina Manor had been a librarian in a previous incarnation. ‘The shop was built in the 1930s and it has the most amazing stained glass windows,’ said Delfina, who has had Good Reading for ten years. She has the attitude ‘the more bookshops the merrier’ and holds firmly to the belief that business works better if each shop supports the others. It’s this kind of sentiment that got the book trail started, as one shop owner recommended a visitor to the next great bookseller down the road. And it’s what holds the loosely connected group of 10 together, beyond their geographical ties. One of the early bonds of goodwill that formed between book trailers was between Delfina and her Euroa neighbour Kenneth Hince. With his wealth of knowledge from decades in the business, Kenneth has been a great support to many a fellow bookshop owner. If anyone knows about secondhand books, it’s Kenneth. Founding president of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers, he has been in the book trade for 47 years. Around 18 years ago, he handed his established Melbourne shop over to his daughter and ventured north to start Euroa Fine Books. His shop carries many of the treasures he collected from around the world during his regular trips to Europe and the UK as The Australian newspaper’s primary music reviewer. While plenty of freeway traffic pulls in to this town to top up on petrol, few venture further to the shopping centre and to Kenneth Hince’s specialist shop unless they know what they’re looking for. But with a book trail brochure in hand, visitors can plan ahead. And what better way to spend a weekend than touring around Victoria’s beautiful Alpine region in search of a treasure and a bit of book conversation.We certainly enjoyed it! To find out more about Victoria’s Alpine Book Trail go to their website, www. alpinebooktrail.com.au The splendidly named Good Reading bookshop in Benalla. Kenneth Hince, veteran antiquarian bookseller, in his shop Euroa Fine Books. We approve of his reading material! The elegant surrounds of specialist bookshop Euroa Fine Books. Carol Forrest in her Books at Bright bookshop, crammed with goodies for book lovers. A colourful window display of books with red covers at Good Reading bookshop in Benalla.