Books, coffee and banana bread

I have a three book limit.
I realise a lot of girls have to be constrained when buying shoes, or makeup, or clothes. And on occasion, so do I. But as most of my clothes come from op shops and I have feet the size of small boats, in most cases it’s the books that get me. So I cap it at three, on the grounds that this usually means I spend less than $100.
But there’s another, more important, reason. I read quickly but in a non-holiday period three is the average number of books I can read I two weeks. And with many books, particularly, non-fiction, you must read them within a few weeks of purchase. Because the thing about being interested in everything is you’re not interested in anything for very long. And the thing about good bookshops is they make everything seem interesting. I have a shelf of un- or half-read books as testament to this.
Today I went to Glebe Books in Sydney, which is one of my favourite new bookshops. My favourite for secondhand books has long been Tapsell’s in Rutherglen, but I fear it may soon be overtook by a recent find in Fremantle from the sheer abundance of Penguin paperbacks.
So now I’m in a café in Glebe Point Road, enjoying a fair-trade soy latte and toasted banana bread, scrawling this in the back of my Teeline book to be typed up later like a grade six assignment, and wondering why I left the city.
Glebe is my favourite Sydney suburb, although this may be simply because I know it best. An easy walk to the city, wonderful shops, cafes and restaurants, and I’m writing a walkthrough again.
This is what I thought it would be like if I became a proper journalist. I would work to death on a six-day rotating roster and on my day off I’d sit in a patchouli-scented café and eat wonderful stuff, like cake.
And everyone in the café would know me and ask what I was working on, and I would play coy, because it would be something tremendously sleuthy and important. And then I would stroll home to my poky little bedsit behind the community school and read musty old books and cook lentils with my cat.
Remove all that bar the cat and the lentils, and you’ve got Bunbury. Because although Bunbury is lovely and really quite pleasant, but it doesn’t match the long-imagined postcards from the future. It’s just the place I go when I wake up.
But here and now, I have coffee and books and an excellent spot for people watching. Day three of a 16-day holiday – Bunbury is lovely, but it’s good to be home.

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