Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lifeline book fair

The Lifeline book fair takes place every six months at the exhibition park across the road from us, once in spring and once in autumn. It is a fantastic institution. People donate books that they don't want anymore, and they are sold to help finance the eponymous crisis telephone.

It is an odd mixture of old and new, crappy and good, nonsensical and valuable. I was slightly annoyed to find some creationist literature in the natural sciences section. On the other hand, I was amused that, as seen in the photo below, Left Behind was in the fantasy and science fiction section, something that would probably have annoyed Christians who (like the authors themselves!) actually believe the rapture described in that novel is going to happen and would expect it to be part of the religion section at least.

Ah well. As my wife remarked, there are so many books that the volunteers probably only take one superficial look at most of them to decide where they should go.

The fair starts on Fridays, when masses of people compete to grab the rarest and most interesting books. We came today, on its last day, when they start lowering prices, but that also means that the best may already be gone. Still, we picked up a lot of nice things: An Indian cookbook, the plays of Goethe (in German), Martin Millar's The Good Fairies of New York, three of Jule Verne's novels in one volume, children's books, games and even a nicely illustrated plant anatomy textbook as well as volumes two to four of the Flora of South Australia. Volume one wasn't there, sadly, and obviously being published in the forties and fifties the flora is pretty out of date. But it is nice to have it for my private use, and the most frequent species were usually already described then.

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