Who said books are dead!…last weekend the NGV staged their annual “Melbourne Book Fair”, which brings together established and emerging art publishers, artist, writers and designers, staged in the Great Hall NGV International (the celling is spectacular), with workshops, forums there was even a launch party featuring DJ Cale Sexton.
The buzz around this book fair is incredible, with huge crowds flocking to this weekend. The NGV do an amazing job, as it’s not just art books laid out on tables, OH NO, they design special display units to house the books. It’s quite hard to take it all in as you want to buy every book you see a
nd the chats you have with publishers and artist shows you the passion they all share.
Through my arts radio show – Sunday Arts Magazine on JOY94.9 we have often interviewed the NGV book publisher, as they produce/publish their own books and exhibition catalogues, with the catalogues often sell out and they have to run another print, plus these catalogues sell really well on line to people around the world.
This has got me thinking about the power of the book and how in the past few years people have been talking about the death of the physical book and the closure of so many book stores…but then you have the NGV staging this art book fair and with it being a huge success. Just look at the wonderful Readings bookstores, they have about 6 stores around Melbourne and they are very popular and loved, with large sections dedicated to the art book, plus they make it a true experience when you walk through the door, Reading is part of Melbourne folk law!
Another of my favourite book stores is the Avenue Book Store in Albert Park, nestled between cafes [lots of cafes!], haven’t been to this part of Melbourne – it’s a must! Anyway, at Avenue Store I often pick up books I haven’t seen anywhere else.
We also can’t forget the wonderful people at Melbourne Style, who I wrote about last week, as I said, they publish their own books and most of them are about art and of course this wonderful city.
So many good book stores in the heart of the city, but one I always enjoy popping into is Metropolis bookstore it’s housed on the 3rd floor of Curtin House, this build is a bit of a mecca for restaurants, bars and live venues, there is even an open air cinema on the roof. Metropolis has been around in Melbourne for many years and made the very smart move to Curtin House five or more years ago.
If you have a fetish about seeing lots of books, you must visit the state library of Victoria, the building itself is a treat and they have a few really good galleries. make sure you give yourself a few hours.
I love the way the universe works…I was reading todays Age newspaper and there was a story, that kids are less likely to read an e-book, it inhibits reading according to a study and that this is a wake-up call to parents, and schools who have pushed to buy expensive devices to boost childen’s literacy and that they enjoy the physical turning of the page, feeling the weight of commitment.
Also, so many people these days are reading books on public transport again, the book is fighting back, just like vinyl has with the record buying public!!!
Enjoy the journey of going into a book shop as there are so many interesting stores around Melbourne, buy an art book and lay it out on a table and change the pages every few days to look at different art and most importantly buy a book for a friend!