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My Book Store Safari – part 2 July 18, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in books and reading.
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Ascending the stairs from The Reader’s Feast into the brisk Melbourne morning, I lead my ladies up Bourke Street and then further up Russel Street to the Theosophical Society Bookshop. This is, as far as I am aware, the most comprehensive bookshop for “religion, philosophy and science” in Melbourne. It has very obviously strong ties to the Theosophical Society, with a raft of advertising and course material for activities surrounding those fields of studies.

The bookshop is up two flights of stairs, with an elevator provided if you need. It is cramped, it has narrow isles, and every book shelf is crammed with an astonishing array of books. I drifted over to the tarot section, then down the way to Animal Shamanism. I ran my eye over the second hand and discount book section, up the aisle past dreaming and new books, around the corner to the statue and incense display and landed at Mythology, inspiration and such books.

I have studied tarot, hence why I started in that section. However I also like the story telling potential of the cards. Each card represents an idea, a step along the journey of your life, to give a simple view, for this purpose. I enjoy translating this idea into character building. I find it gives my creations depth and adds elements I wouldn’t have thought of so easily. It gives me background information I can use at a later stage to develop plot twists, back story and so on. Sadly, there wasn’t much on the Tarot shelves that interested me.

Animal Shamanism. In my evolving steam punk verse there is a vein of nature magic, druidic magic. There is herb lore and animal lore and one of my characters will have an animal companion. A friend has some awesome animal shaman cards with accompanying book. Bright, colourful, explains the powers and symbology of certain animals. If this is going to be a part of my world, then other characters and minor characters may also be animal shamans. SO it would be good to know about more animals. Sadly, the book I was looking for was not there.

I am into dreaming, hence I check out that section every time. However, my dream-work has moved beyond the ten million dream symbols onto more pure books about symbology. To this end – Todeschi is particularly awesome for me.

And finally around the corner to where books by Julia Cameron and Joseph Campbell live. For me, these two authors have had a major impact on my writing and creativity, and they still do. I spent a lot of time in this part of the book store, staring at books I wanted. But, my budget did not stretch far enough for these books. Many many books… 4 books by Julia Cameron, and another 4 books by Joseph Campbell that I wanted which I am sure would be great on my book shelf.

I left this book store empty handed, be it reluctantly. There were books on Aboriginal Legends I would have liked. One page for the legend, in abbreviated form, and an illustration. And a companion book about Greek Myths, just as an example.

For what it is, the Theosophical Society Bookshop is fantastic. As I have said, I cannot think of any better store for esoteric books in Melbourne. However, I think this exclusivity leads to higher prices. I do not claim to know how pricing works for selling books. But one reason I left empty handed was being put off by how much the books cost. Which is a shame. I would love to support book stores over internet book sales, if given the choice. I like to give my 2 cents to those who run the shops and give a bit of a damn. But…. shame.

After another lengthy stop I took the ladies down the stairs, and up to catch a tram to Brunswick Street…

Matt – no books purchased

Wife The Way to Bright Star

Awesome Kiwi Chick – no books purchased

TO BE CONTINUE …

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