Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Biography at the Melbourne University Bookstore
I found a few familiar titles, but many of the books and their subjects were new to me. Of nineteen biographies or memoirs on display (on stands to show them prominently), I recognized six as titles on the American market. This included True Compass by Edward Kennedy and Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson. I did not know Living Large: The World of Harold Mitchell or Pioneer Women of the Bush and Outback. Being in a university bookstore, most of the books that I did not recognize were about Australian historical or political figures. Later in bookstores aimed at more general readers, I noticed a similar mix with a large number of books about Australian celebrities and sports figures.
In fiction, the Australian and American markets were more similar. Every book shop had a stack of new Dan Brown books. There were also many vampire novels on display, as well as the third book in Steig Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.
I also noticed that most new books in both Australia and New Zealand are paper bound. There are few hardcovers being published, even in bestselling fiction.
I will be adding photos from our trip to my Flickr site as I organize them. You may click the link in the right column of this blog.
I'm glad to be home but I would go right back down under if offered a trip.