Favourite Bookshops: Margo LanaganSep 30th, 2008 | By Stephanie Campisi | Category: Uncategorized
I’m not entirely sure that Margo Lanagan needs an introduction, but for the uninitiated, she’s a writer of the strange, wonderful, and macabre, and has won nearly every award known to humankind, and quite possibly a few yet to have been discovered. Her new novel, Tender Morsels, through Allen & Unwin, will be out in October–some early reviews have been posted on her blog, Among, Amid, While.
Margo kindly (and quite gleefully!) took the time to tell me about her favourite bookshops in her native Sydney:
OMG, I have to choose one favourite bookshop? But I love so many, from big chains to library and gallery specialist shops. Look, the best I can do is narrow it down to two, which I think counts because they’re so close to each other, just a few doors apart in York Street, Sydney.
Galaxy Bookshop is for all things genre; I buy my monthly issue of LOCUS magazine there, and always visit the back where the new releases are, just to see what everyone’s up to, and to pat the embossing on those gorgeous fantasy covers - okay, every now and again I actually take one home, it’s true.
Abbey’s is one of those bookshops that bumps your IQ up a few points when you step in the door; suddenly it seems perfectly plausible that you’ll read Greek and Latin one day, possibly even Hungarian too, and be the full bottle on everything from earth sciences to the Etruscans, with a smattering of poetry and architecture in between. That is, if you can get past the wonderland of the new fiction releases.
Both of these shops have good, juicy newsletters full of staff picks and upcoming events, and in both of them you can be guaranteed to overhear some truly weird conversations.
I’m not sure that I’ve been to Abbey’s (although perhaps I should, if these IQ-raising claims are true), but I’ve dropped in to Galaxy Books, which is where my buddy John used to work. I do like the idea of the magazines and newsletters, as I think it’s nice to have that kind of post-browse interaction with a bookshop. I receive a monthly(-ish) mailing from Reader’s Feast, and admit to having absconded with a copy of the little catalogue at the counter of Forbidden Planet in London. City Basement Books has a corkboard bristling with upcoming events, signings, and conventions with awfully punny names, as well as a little table striped with hand-trimmed bookmarks and leaflets smuggled in by authors (or perhaps their mothers), and Readings hosts more events than all of my great aunties combined.
Previous Favourite Bookshop posts: Lucy Sussex