A few doors from my humble abode there is a business known as ‘Golden’. I don’t want to know what they do, because I’m sure the reality will disappoint the expectations inspired by their tag-line: ‘Proudly Servicing Melbourne For Forty Years’.
Whatever it is they get up to, my interest in them reaches near-feverish levels when they have garage sales. Mostly because (can you guess?) they sell books. For the sum of ten dollars, you are presented with a plastic bag which you may stuff to splitting with the tomes spread out on the dusty concrete floor.
This morning, appraised of the latest sale, I was there at eight sharp, nose a-twitch, ganglions vibrating and so fired with enthusiasm for the hunt that only the most rigid self-control prevented me from yodelling ‘Yoicks! Tantivity and tally-ho!’
Now: the haul.
Piccadilly Jim by P G Wodehouse
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
Goodbye Again by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (soon to replace my dilapidated copy)
Stephen Fry in America by Steven Fry (of course)
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Nightrunners of Bengal by John Masters and
A Book Addict’s Treasury (Ed.) Julie Rugg and Lynda Murphy
Not bad, eh?
But I also stocked up on some trash.
Deep breath, here. We now enter the confessional.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
The Reconstructionist by Josephine Hart
Australian Tragic by Jack Marx and…
Footy Passions by John Cash and Joy Damousi.
Don’t look at me like that. I’m curious about Stephanie Meyer, but I’ll be tarred and feathered before I send any royalties her way. And any book with the media clout Dragon Tattoo has is going to be fun to sneer at. It will confirm my conviction that I have a more refined literary palate than the great unwashed.
And the AFL season just started. So I need some quiet reassurance that I’m not all alone in the world when my friends raise their eyebrows at me for being an unreconstructed Geelong tragic (by the way, what a final quarter last night! Bless the boys). I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t look or speak or read like a meat-pie-and-beer-at-the-footy kinda guy. I’m more a gin-and-tonic-in-front-of-the-TV-and-anxiously-checking-online-score-updates-if-the-televised-coverage-is-delayed kinda guy. So there.
And I’m not ashamed.
And generally mad props to Golden. They serviced me thoroughly and unstintingly this morning, and I salute them.