One of the greatest things about living in this part of Australia is that it is surrounded by stunning little towns, filled with beautiful buildings, streets full of character and history and encircled by rolling, green (at this time of year anyway) farmland. One such town is Clunes, about a thirty minute drive from Ballarat. Clunes is gorgeous any day of the year and it has a distinct community feel. But this week end Clunes was tranformed…. into Booktown, A whole town dedicated to the simple pleasure of curling up with a great book, immersing yourself in an engrossing story and even the sheer beauty of a well made, bound and cared for book. And I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend in this happy place! And child free at that.
(I was having far too much fun to remember to take any photos myself so this is one of Clunes taken from the Booktown website)
Another avid reader friend and I took in all the delights, lectures on local ghosts pranks from the Victorian times, trawling through literally thousands of secondhand books, running our hands along pile after pile of new and interesting reads, eating warm comforting food in the cold bracing air, and the best moment for me was being in the audience for a conversation with author Elliot Perlman. He wrote the Street Sweeper (among others) which I read last year, a book that moved me and has stayed with me. He spoke mainly about the writing of this book and it was a real treat to hear what it takes as a writer to create such a stunning and important work.
The book town weekend will be permanently in my calendar from this point on.