About a year ago, we 'gifted' my brother-in-law with an overnight babysitting gig: we'd fly up to Sydney one weekend and stay with his two daughters while he and the wife went out for a late night on the town. This past weekend was the weekend.
It started on Friday, here in Melbourne. We were leaving from MT's company in the city center, and I arrived about 90 minutes early, so I decided to check out a rare and used bookshop down the road that's also a client of MT's. You can see where this is going.
The store is as gorgeous on the inside as it is out. She currently has a small mystery section, but that didn't stop me from finding a few gems, including a 1890's edition of A Study in Scarlet. Bloody Murder is an uncorrected proof, which I've discovered means that in non-fiction books, none of the page numbers referenced in the text are actually page numbers, just black blocks of '--'.
After leaving the shop I still had about 30 minutes and as I wandered down the block I saw a sign for the Atheneum Library, which I'd never heard of. After some google foo, I found out that the Melbourne Athenaeum is one of the oldest public institutions in Victoria, founded in 1839. Its building consists of a main theatre hosting theatre, comedy and music performances, a small studio theatre, and a subscription library. It (the library) also has the largest crime collection in Victoria. Including shelves full of old Elizabeth Peters stand-alones, as well as a massive selection of classic crime titles. Yes, please, take my money.
After signing up for a membership, I checked out two Peters books, including one I'd never heard of (The Love Talker):
From there, it was back to MT's with my bags full of books, and we headed to Sydney. Now, Sydney happens to be the home of one of my favorite used bookstores in Australia: Berkelouw Books. Which happens to be three blocks from my in-laws house. You know how this ends.
Saturday morning I found myself on my own for about 2 hours as everyone else was at swimming lessons. No points for guessing how I spent that time. Berkelouw's did not disappoint.
You'll be relieved to know those aren't ALL from Saturday. On Sunday morning one of the nieces had to be at a dance recital early, leaving MT and I with just the oldest for a few hours. When we asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to go to the bookstore. Thereby cementing her secret status as my favorite niece. Ever. I kept up my mom's tradition by buying her whatever books she wanted, and MT stocked up on a few new titles too. I, of course, found a few I'd missed the previous day.
All in all a great weekend; we survived being in charge of two girls for 18 hours or so AND had a great time. AND had to borrow a bag to bring all our books home in. Never mind where I'm going to find the space for them - aren't they pretty? :D