Buy Books and Drink Champagne

Today is National Bookshop Day, the perfect excuse to buy books and drink champagne! My favourite independent bookshop in Adelaide, the lovely Imprints, celebrated with books and  bubbles. (We also had a decadent lemon syrup cake and lots of conversation.)

I wouldn’t be without my local indie bookshop. I know that I can buy books online (and I do), but for me nothing beats the experience of the real thing : browsing the shelves, finding the book I want,  coming across other books that I discover I also want, talking to the lovely guy behind the counter (he has a tattoo sleeve, the smile of an angel and he reads Foucault and  Julian Barnes.)

The one thing that stops me ordering and buying all of my books here can be expressed in three dirty words: parallel import restrictions. Australians are cursed with this system that effectively doubles the price of our books: compare the price in British pounds with the cost in Australian dollars next time you pick up a new book. Our professional library association, ALIA, has argued for the repeal of PIR since the 1980s  –  it is kept in place on the unconvincing  grounds that Australian writing  needs to be protected from more popular overseas imports.  (That’s insulting to Australian readers, writers, library users and book buyers: we have a healthy literary culture that can look after itself.)

I will buy books wherever and whenever I can.  In Imprints (where they have a wonderful selection),  at book fairs (on impulse), at the Hill of Content (when I’m in Melbourne), online from Book Depository  (at half the Australian price with no charge for postage.)

Let’s all buy books and drink champagne!



Filed under National Year of Reading

2 responses to “Buy Books and Drink Champagne

  1. Louise

    Parallel import restrictions eh? Very good to have an explanation for what on first glance looked like price gouging. I was so shocked when I bought my first Australian paperback, I returned it thinking the cashier had made an error! (That was nearly four years ago at the Sydney airport).
    Always nice to support the little guys though!

  2. Sue

    Mostly Books at Mitcham is another good bookshop. I always try to support them when I can. I was astounded at just how cheap books were in the USA.