Saturday, 30 June 2012

There were some books in

the local newsagent recently.
I should explain that our local newsagent is not like a branch of something like WH Smith in England. Ours sells newspapers, magazines, cards, wrapping paper, stationery and a range of "gifts". It is in fact more like a gift shop than a newsagency.  It occupies a prominent position in the shopping centre because the original owner knows the owner of the actual shopping centre and was given favourable treatment after a suspicious fire which destroyed half the shopping centre.
And, sometimes, the newsagency will have what are clearly remainder books.
They are often paperbacks by "popular" authors, cookery books, travel books or coffee table books. Last week there was even a knitting book there. It was not one I had and I did not succumb.
Sometimes there are also books for children. They are usually "activity" books or books for very small children. There are sometimes "colouring" books. These are usually printed on cheap newsprint. On one occasion there were some books that might be considered "adult" colouring books. I bought one and gave it to a cousin's wife when she was too ill to concentrate on reading. She was pleased to get it and whiled away some hours filling in the intricate drawings.
Sometimes there are other picture books. I will look at them if I happen to be passing the table at the front of the shop. More often than not they hold little or no attraction for me. I can understand why they have become "remainder" books.  Occasionally I have even wondered how they came to be published in the first place.
And then, just once in a while, there will be a real find. I will guiltily buy the book and often pass it on to a child I think might enjoy it. Yesterday I bought two. They were both far too cheap but they were two books about Maisie the mouse. Just right for a Cat to give to small humans!


Jan said...

I understand the comment about guilty buying. The ethics of shopping are convoluted and complicated.

Sydney has a remainder type bookshop which is a permanent fixture near central Station, unlike those which spring up in malls at Christmas time.

I once bought a knitting book there, a dictionary of stitches with charts and written instructions, spiral binding inside and a heavy board cover outside so it opened flat. Cost? $7.50 at the bookshop, $52 in Tapestry Craft, now Morris and Sons.

I felt bad but I am on a pension and the difference was too great for me to disregard.

I do buy organic where possible for food, fairtrade too and I don't buy house brands. I would rather support Australian companies, growers and processors. Even if the companies often have some degree of foreign control, at least they are employing Australian workers who pay tax here.

It gets hard however. On reading the really fine print on some fish after I had bought it, I found it had been caught in NZ which falls within my personal guidelines, was processed in China and shipped back here for sale. Now I read everything on any packet after that episode.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel too guilty Cat. You and your father spend plenty in the local bookshop! Ros

Anonymous said...

Actually that IS rather like WH Smiths nowadays ...!