The Cat’s Library

A chance remark over coffee last year alerted me to the existence of a new old bookshop in Sydney. This isn’t a rare sort of business in a large city, but there are degrees of good in the trade and it pays to investigate whenever you can.

Gould’s Book Arcade – King Street in Newtown. Not all that far from one edge of the University of Sydney and served by an at-the-door bus from outside the Central railway station. Could not have been easier to find.

One big open door and then a maw of shelved books – ground floor and three-side mezzanine. I had been given to believe that it would be a maelstrom of paper stacks on the floor, but not so; the staff have been assiduously racking the stock into the metal shelves and putting up divisional signs. I was directed to the section I wanted for the first purchase and then it was way-hay and into it for the rest of the afternoon.

The original owner, now passed away, had definite political opinions and a fair bit of the stock on the left wing of the mezzanine reflected this – perfectly appropriate positioning, as it happens. I treated myself to a 50’s Soviet picture book with added propaganda and will enjoy baiting my friends with quotations and statistics from it. It will make a nice counter to their rabid support of Trump and Trudeau. I was tempted to get some Christmas presents in the political section but decided to go to the medical shelves for that.

The cat? Well, not quite right now – there has been a cat for some time but a replacement will be need to be sought. The special door arrangements are still in place for the new candidate. I’m sure it will be comfortable and certainly won’t lack for something to read.

Neither will I – the parcel of polemics arrived today and will keep me going for some time. Sydney has heretofore not been quite as productive as Melbourne in the book line – I usually average a metre of shelf space for each Victorian trip – but now that I know how easy it is to find Gould’s, I think this disparity can be erased.

Note: The Elisabeth’s S/H bookstore down the road in Newtown is pleasant but not a patch on our own Elisabeth’s in Fremantle.

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