In the beginning
The bookshop was opened in February 2002. We took over on 2 October of that year. The shop did not have much stock and we knew we had a big challenge ahead of us. We had to keep operating while looking for good books. So all our free time was spent in searching out books.
We attended many book fairs, advertised in local papers and told customers we were always in the market for books. Our first experience of a book fair was the Lighthouse Organisation's at Richmond. We went in and tried to look at books to see if they were worth buying, while all around us were seasoned book people looking, selecting and grabbing all at once. So it was a good, but eye opening experience.
As we purchased more and more books, we needed more shelves. Lots of planning went into the layout, but inevitably we made a few mistakes and spent many hours removing books from shelves onto the floor, then move shelves, move books around so there was some semblance of continuity in the shop. It is an ongoing and evolving process.
On our Tuesdays off, we travelled to Melbourne and bought books where we could, coming back to Woodend with a carload. Once we were offered a look at a deceased estate. It was 40 degree day with a northerly blowing. We picked out a fair number and offered a price. They were happy to accept but wanted us to take the lot. So we finished up with the boot, the back seat and floor packed with books, which made steering a bit difficult.
Over the years, as people moved into the Macedon Ranges, into smaller houses, we were lucky enough to be able to buy some of the books they didn't have space for. We were still on the never ending search for more books to fill our shelves. We found that books on Australian history, military history, the arts and sciences were sought after.
The hunt continues
This is when we began travelling further afield to Canberra for the Lifeline book fair and even to Newcastle for the University book sale. There were lots of reasons to travel the countryside searching out op shops for the elusive rare or uncommon book. It has become something like a treasure hunt, like all book people, we are constantly on the lookout for the books which are different, rare or are great interest.