Get Ready for This: Lifeline Bookfest

pile-of-booksThe Lifeline Bookfest is on again.

For those who live outside of Brisbane and may never have attended an event like this – it is the largest second hand book sale in the Southern Hemisphere. Not bad for the sleepy old backwater of Brisbane. It is held twice a year over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend in June and the second week in January and money raised goes towards supporting the important work LifeLine does in helping people in crisis.

When we first moved to Brisbane six years ago it was one of the things my soul sister Karen told us we “must do”.  Given we were still getting out head around Brisbane the first Fest we were in Brisbane and getting our head around our brand new son the following, we really didn’t know what to expect when we turned up to the January ’05 one.

So many books in the one place. That’s the first thing I remember about our first time there.  I also remember finding a really rare Micheal Odent book which I couldn’t buy for 50c because Dave had my purse and when I went back it was gone (you only do it once!) I remember finding a 50c hardback copy of Birth Without Violence just lying there waiting for me to pick it up. It was also the first place I breastfeed Dylan in public in our sling … wandering up and down the tables of books ignoring any looks I may have been getting.

A photo doesn’t do the sale justice – but I’lltry tomorrow.  There are more than a million second hand books for sale – trestle table upon trestle table of them.  I think a fair chunk of our home library has been procured from there.

As my attention turns more towards fiction this year, I’ve been searching out books to fill the gaps  in my own collection.  In January I got Darkness at Sethanon and Silverthorn.  Now Magician doesn’t look quite so lonely up there alone on the shelf. Dave also found me a copy of Lolita (which I have since read).  This time around I’m looking up the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (actually I think Dave is intended to take the list with him – he makes my avid reading look like a half hearted amateur effort) but also remembering what other gaps need filling.  On the top of my list will be:

  • The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Phillip K Dick
  • Lightning – Dean Koontz

We’re also looking for the tragics – something to top How to Get a Date with a Vampire (which I found last week at the Rotary Book Sale) and perhaps something to send in to Spicks and Specks for their Substitute section.  And Dave is going prepared with not only the 1001 list, but a notebook to keep a record of all the strange book placings. Last time he found Barbara Cartland in “Classics”.

What would be on your wishlist for an event like this?

Image via Paper Pills

9 thoughts on “Get Ready for This: Lifeline Bookfest

  1. I’d be looking for as much King as I can get my hands on, as well as Steinbeck.

    In two weeks we have the ‘Big Red’ book sale which is a Melbourne’s Trades Hall, lots of political and socialist books. Never been before so it should be fun. Still probably no where as a big as that though!


  2. I got “The Shining” a couple of weeks ago. I’ve read none of King’s horror. I read “The Stand” about 15 years ago and loved it. One day I hope to have the time to go back and read it again.

    And Steinbeck is great too. I read “Grapes of Wrath” when I was pregnant with my son (such uplifthing reading for pregnant woman) and last year finally got around to reading “East of Eden” and had to laugh at the catch cry on the front “Cathy – the most evil woman in literature” … made me realise just how old my copy was. She’s bad, but certainly not the most evil woman in literature now.

    Dave got two of Marx’s books – I don’t rememer the titles now.


  3. “IT” is King’s best, followed by “The Green Mile.”

    I’ve only read “Grapes of Wrath” and even then, not the whole thing to be honest. I get distracted easily and start and stop books. I will get back to it and others though.

    Hehe, would love to hear which Marx ones he got.


  4. Actually – I lie when I said I’ve only read “The Stand”. My flat mate and I were buying the Green Mile when it was first released in the serialised form and doing as King suggested – reading it out aloud.

    I got a job working on a cruise boat and the Green Mile reading sessions came to an end. And I have never finished reading it – got lazy and rented the DVD when it came out.

    There are currently so many books hanging around here – I will have to have a dig to find which Marx books they are.


  5. Ooo – will check that out later. When I did it (I did Year 12 in Vic when they were phasing in the VCE) I did a monologue of Abigail from The Crucible – of her waiting to set sail and hearing the drummer taking John Proctor to the gallows. Sadly I didn’t keep a copy of it and it was lost to the VCE english bonfire.


  6. You were so quick your comment got in ahead of mine – go figure WordPress??

    They are performing The Crucible here in Brisbane in November and I am definitely going to see it. It’s my FAV play of all times … though I’ve been seeing a bit of theatre with a friend of mine who did drama at Uni – and have seen The Seagull, The Golden Age and a Mollier play to date this year. More theatre than I’ve seen almost in my entire life.

    First trip to theatre was in Melbourne at the Arts Centre and saw Romeo and Juliet.


  7. Yeah, bored sitting on my computer so am able to chat. If I was at work, it would suck because wordpress blogs are blocked.

    I’m so jealous. I want to see the Crucible. Maybe someone will do it down here. I’ve only read the play and seen the movie.

    You might’ve noticed I’ve been seeing a bit of theatre too lately. Another review of Chekov play, Three Sisters will come out after Sunday.


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