Blessed is the Sabbath–especially if there is a whopping big book sale on that day . On Magnetic Island , North Queensland, there is an annual bookfest offering large numbers of goodies at the kindergarten. Some of the offerings, spread on tables come with bookworm , free of charge ; often discovered are a range of interesting inserts, inscriptions , a variety of old library notices and the trade stamps of book dealers in various parts of Australia . This bug eyed book addict , showing great self control , managed to buy a mere 70 volumes. A number were early editions by Ion Idriess covering North Australian topics : John Flynn, Sir Sidney Kidman, the Cattle King, In Crocodile Land , Islands of Despair and Horrie the Wog Dog - read when this writer was a pimply lad in Sydney , more than 60 years ago, seemingly back in the Gutenberg Press days.
A l964 first edition copy of Eaters of the Lotus , complete with a pictorial dustjacket, by Keith Willey , a former NT News reporter in the days of Jim Bowditch, was eagerly snapped up . Willey dedicated the book to his friends in the North who eat the Lotus , probably the reason why recently I had expensive dental treatment . Another find was Syd Kyle-Little’s Whispering Wind, Adventures in Arnhem Land , with dustjacket, which includes a photograph of Cadet Patrol Officer Jack Doolan who later became a Northern Territory ALP politician. If I remember correctly, Kyle-Little was a ranger at Alice Springs.
The eclectic range of purchases covered India after Gandhi; Bangkok by Alec Waugh ; the Hong Kong Plague of 1894 ; an autographed copy of a Dr Jim Cairns book ; early, illustrated , Australian novels , including the l922 Cooee of Glenowie ; accounts of WW1; a batch covering the Torres Strait ; Australian National Estate , by an old journo mate from way back , the late Professor Clem Lloyd , an ALP staffer (Lance Barnard , Tom Uren, methinks) ; The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka ; adventurer Francis Birtles ; a battered, wormed, 1933 copy of The Life of Kiwi author Katherine Mansfield, with associated newspaper clipping (follow up post later) ; The Reef–the Great Barrier Reef in 12 extraordinary tales ; the life of George Goyder and the letters of the great Goon , Spike Milligan.