There are four places to buy books in town – five, if you count the Op Shop.
There’s the newsagency – good for bestsellers, as well as a range of bargain books out the front (of the three-for-fifteen-dollars ilk) in which the occasional winner will surface.
There’s Annie’s Book Exchange – a secondhand book store with a solid range (mostly general fiction and crime). You can buy books here at reasonable (if slightly on the high end) prices, and later return them for a 50% credit against a new book. Of course, if the book is any good we are incapable of returning it, but the concept is good.
There’s another secondhand book shop which we haven’t visited lately. I remember it as more of a ‘literary’ bookshop than a browse-and-buy – my tastes on holiday definitely run to the low-brow. We’ll try to get there and check it out, though.
The Op Shop has a small and completely unsorted range. It’s definitely on the very low-brow end – but so are their prices, so it doesn’t matter much.
And there’s Lorne Beach Books – a wonderful generalist bookshop, stocked with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a solid range crossing from general fiction and children’s books to really good non-fiction (this week’s window display includes 2 different books on Gaudi, for example). A couple of years ago, I spent a week agonising over The Lore of the Land and a copy of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – fortunately, Fraser noticed and he and my parents came through for my birthday.
Our kids love going in there, and so do we – not least because, 3 years ago, we spotted a copy of JAVA in their (smallish) games display. These days, we check it out carefully.
This year, there’s a range of the usual suspects on their game shelf (Twister, Guess Who, etc) – but also Ticket to Ride, Polarity, Age of Mythology and Nexus Ops. In the doorway, I spotted a range of Gamewright children’s games. We count at least 3 different distributors there. It’s an interesting range for them to stock, and I wonder whether there are a couple of keen gamers down here, or whether they’re just supplied on spec somehow. I guess the solution is to ask, next time I’m in.
In fact, my only problem with this shop is that there seems to be a hole in their stock just where Biggie would fit. They have a great range of picture books and books for early-to-middling readers, but then there’s a gap until books for teenagers. Biggie is beyond most of the simple chapter books they sell, but not yet ready for adolescent angst (or at least, her mother is not ready for it).
We finally made it to the beach itself today, although not for long. Both kids learned that “knee deep” can still mean “big enough waves to knock you over” – fortunately both thought this was pretty cool (and it was great that mummy’s shoes got wet too).
Back to the house and I finished Book – lost count – The Shakespeare Secret, which someone (possibly Fraser) gave me for Christmas. This is a DaVinci Code-esque thriller revolving around the search for one of Shakespeare’s lost plays (Cardenio). It was fun and seemed to have some genuine scholarship behind it, but I thought the pacing was a little off. Maybe I’m just a crank though – it was a perfectly acceptable beach holiday read.
Once Tom arrived, we broke out some games – we showed him a couple of newer Australian games, then played a couple of rounds of Make’n’Break (another Australian invention).
Final scores: Otto about 8, Fraser 14, Biggie 10, Tom 11, Melissa 14.
Fraser and Biggie played one of Tom’s prototypes while I put Otto to bed (and did my French homework). My French textbook is interesting in that it is a French-only textbook – it looks outstanding, but it makes it a little harder for me to bring my vocabulary up to scratch. I am pretty sure that la voiture is the car, but there are a number of verbs that I can now conjugate, even though I don’t know what they mean. Also, I know what to say if my office lacks a window. Je voudrais un bureau avec une fenêtre, moi!
Final scores: Biggie 100, Tom 111, Fraser 95.
Note to self: Online French dictionary. Complétez (pretty confident there), découvrez, trouvez, dialoguez (I think I know that one), jouez (pretty sure of that too although I am not sure what games have to do with that page in the textbook), écoutez, lisez, parlez (got it), posez des questions (got that one too), regardez (yup), relies, répétez (ok).