Books, Books, Books – Argyle Emporium

Last Sunday-week, Susan and I made a planned stop on the way to visiting her parents, who live 25 kilometres/15.5 miles outside of Goulburn. Goulburn is about one and three-quarter hours drive from our home.

The planned stop was at the Argyle Emporium, which is located opposite the railway line in Goulburn in an old Police Station. The Argyle Emporium has been a second-hand bookshop for 21 years and houses approximately 500,000 books. ‘Book Heaven’ for book-lovers!

This time we only spent just over an hour there and the good news for other book-lovers is that upon leaving there, I left 499, 496 books at the bookshop…. 🙂

The following ones I the books I purchased:

I love books on the Visual Arts that delve into how Artist expresses what they are feeling by using tools and techniques. This one features the thoughts of 20 famous artists. I love this book!

The second book I purchased is a collection that I have been wanting in my Poetry collection for some time but just hadn’t found the right one. Over 1,000 pages of Wordsworth delight!

The third book purchased that day was also Poetry. I enjoy buying collections of poetry. It is true that sometimes the collections overlap with other collections of poetry however, this hasn’t happened too much so far… This collection breaks up the poetry into subjects and includes over 90 Poets. The book was printed in 1957.

The last book purchased that day is from another ‘like’ of mine, and that is ‘tools and techniques that inspire creative writing’. I find them a fascinating read and, by the looks of this book, I won’t be disappointed.

4 more books from from the treasure-trove second-hand bookshop known as the Argyle Emporium, Goulburn, NSW. Australia. Some of the rooms are pictured below.

I can hardly wait until our next visit! 🙂

Written by David Johnson

17 August 2022

“A New Heaven – The Norfolk Poems” – Mark Tarren

Regular readers of my blog will be aware of my love of writing Poetry and collecting books on Poetry that inspire and delight me.

On our recent trip to Norfolk Island, I was pleased to not only pick up a copy of Mark Tarren’s latest book but also actually get to meet the Author himself.

I first heard about the book from Mary Beth Tarren (Mark’s Wife) in a chance meeting outside Mary’s “Aunt Mary’s Kitchen” cafe/restaurant. Everyone is so friendly on Norfolk Island so it is easy for conversations to get started.

During the conversation, Mary mentioned that her husband had written a Poetry book relating to Norfolk Island. It wasn’t long before I came across the book as it is in several outlets on the Island.

I was quite impressed with the writing. One can sense the deep emotional impact that living on Norfolk Island has had on Mark and I am very pleased to add it to my collection.

For me (as a 3rd time visitor to Norfolk) it was also another way of ‘taking a bit more of Norfolk Island back home with me…’. Over the three trips we have brought back all sorts of souvenirs from this piece of Paradise, including “Morla el Do” a collection of Poems by another Norfolk Island resident, Archie Biggs.

There are all sorts of souvenirs one can bring home from a holiday to remind us of the wonderful times we have had however, to bring home words written in such fine style by a Poet with images that complement those words, is to bring home something special from the Heart of a resident.

To find out more about the book and Mark Tarren, please click on the following link:

https://www.marktarren.com/a-new-heaven

Happy Reading!

Written by David Johnson

3 April 2022

See a previous article on my blog for the list of Poetry books I have: https://communicatingcreatively.com/2021/11/29/a-growing-collection/

Time Alone With Books

discovery & adventure

One of the presents I was very grateful to receive yesterday for Christmas was the book pictured below. I had spotted it in my local Art store and (as usual) when approaching Christmas, my Wife, Susan said ‘do you have any ideas for presents just in case anyone in the family is stumped for what to buy you?’

I only started keeping a sketchbook regularly at hand in the past 3-4 years and have been searching around for ‘that elusive all-purpose sketchbook’ that apparently does not exist.

We are so spoilt for choice these days in terms of Art supplies, including sketchbooks, not so in days gone past.

The book is beautifully presented and highlights 70 Explorers and what they used to document their journeys and their discoveries. The sketchbooks go back as far as the 1600’s to the 21st century.

I imagine they were ‘not spoiled for choice’ back then in terms of sketchbook and paper types. I think sometimes ‘we have too many choices’ and ‘get too wrapped up’ in the myriad of tools available. Maybe we should apply the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method more often?

I am looking forward to diving in to read about not only the Explorer’s adventures but also what they used to record their adventures and discoveries. It is going to be a fascinating journey!

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

26 December 2021

a growing collection…

I’ve been thinking about doing this type of post for awhile now and I have been trying to keep busy in light of the recent sadness that has befallen our Family this week.

My love for Poetry dates back to my school years and I always enjoyed borrowing Poetry books from the Library but often thought it would be great if I had some on my own bookshelf. I know I can look up the Internet at any time and view some but I’m also a ‘real book’ lover and love to curl up with one. I love the feel, the smell and conciseness of a single book in the hands.

That being said, I also have a couple of Poetry apps on my phone, ‘Poem Hunter’, which provides a daily Poem; ‘Famous Poetry’, which offers the Poetry of 36 different Poets. The apps are for those times when I cannot or do not have a book with me.

I also have a few books on the mechanics of Poetry and how to write them and I thought I would share a list of my Poetry books with you.

  • The Australian and Other Verses by W.H.Ogilvie
  • Poetical Works of Henry Lawson
  • Selected Poems of Adam Lindsay Gordon
  • The Collins Book of Australian Poetry
  • Collected Verse – John Manifold
  • The Poet’s Word – An Anthology of English Poetry
  • Chaucer to Gray – The Harvard Classics
  • The Golden Treasury of English Verse
  • Morla el Do (Tomorrow Will Do) – A Collection of Norfolk Island Poems
  • William Blake – Selected Poems
  • Quatrains of Omar Khayyam
  • The Poetical Works of John Keats
  • Poetical Works of Mrs Browning Volume 1
  • A Book of Poetry – Anthology of English Poetry (Textbook 1961)
  • Collected Shorter Poems 1930 -1944 of W.H.Auden
  • A.D.Hope – Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson
  • Leaves From Australian Forests – Poetical Works of Henry Kendall
  • Yet More Comic & Curious Verse – The Penguin Poets
  • Enjoying Poetry 1 – Silver and Gold
  • Matthew Arnold – A Selection Of His Finest Poems
  • The English and Scottish Popular Ballads Volume 1
  • Seven Centuries of Poetry in English
  • The Great Modern Poets – An Anthology of the Best Poets & Poetry since 1900
  • Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau
  • James McCauley – Collected Poems 1936 – 1970
  • The Golden Book of Modern English Poetry – Everyman’s Library – 921
  • The Poet’s Pen – A Historical and Chronological Anthology – 13th to 20th Century
  • Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass
  • Judith Wright – Collected Poems
  • Poems and Poets – David Aloian – Headmaster, Concord Academy (Textbook 1965)
  • Country Verse – 16th to 19th Century
  • Introduction to Poetry: British, American, Canadian
  • Writing and Enjoying Haiku – A Hands-on Guide
  • The Making of a Poem – A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms
  • How To Read A Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry
  • Poetry: Tools & Techniques – A Practical Guide to Writing Engaging Poetry
  • Mary Oliver – A Poetry Handbook – A Prose Guide to Understanding & Writing Poetry

It would be very hard for me to pick out a favourite Poet or Poem so I’m not going to try. There are some of my favourite Poets missing from the list, though. Some are contained within the anthologies and it would be nice to have them in their own separate books. I know I can go out and purchase brand new books but I prefer to hunt out second-hand books as they have more character than a brand new book and there is something about ‘the hunt’ in a second-hand bookstore that makes it all the more exciting when you ‘uncover some book treasure…’.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

28 November 2021

Berkelouw’s book treasure

As mentioned in the previous post, last Sunday, my Wife and I were down at Berrima to celebrate the 27th anniversary of us going out to dinner for the first time.

One of the places we always go to is Berkelouw’s Book Barn which is located just outside Berrima on the Old Hume Highway. It holds a special place in our Hearts as we went there for the first time back on the 19 November 1994 and whilst browsing, Susan found a book called ‘The Drover’ which was outside the budget. She loved it but put it back on the shelf. I took a mental note of the book (no Smart phones back then to take a picture of it) and the next day, I rang Berkelouw’s and had them put the book aside. I picked it up the next weekend and gave it to Susan as a present. She was delighted and surprised! 🙂

Berkelouw’s used to have about 250,000 books but after diversification, they now have about 100,000 books. Still plenty to tantalise the avid bookworm.

Normally, we would be there for at least two hours, searching, uncovering and discovering book treasure but we both exceeded expectations and walked away with 11 books between us.

Here are my six below:

In all the years we have been going down there I have kept an eye out for writings of Henry David Thoreau and in consecutive years have picked up a book of his. Last year it was a book of his Poetry. It delights me to have picked up the book on some of his ‘meditations’.

I started reading the ‘Discworld’ series some time ago and have been keeping watch in second-hand bookstores so it was great to pick up another couple. 🙂

Am always on the lookout for Poetry books, especially anthologies and specific subject matter. I didn’t have any ‘humour-orientated’ Poetry so I was very pleased to add this to my collection. Anthologies are great, especially if like this one, there are a lot of Poets in it that I haven’t heard of. There a few Poems for each author so the book is a bit of a ‘taster’.

The final book to discuss is ‘New Worlds From Old’ which accompanied an exhibition of paintings some twenty years ago in Australia and the U.S.A. It has some wonderful plates of paintings from both American and Australian Landscape Artists from the 19th Century plus detailed information on the Artworks and the Artists themselves.

I’m looking forward this weekend and/or whenever I get the chance before to grab a cuppa and sit down to enjoy, particularly the Poetry, Painting and meditations books.

Till next time, booklovers!

Written by David Johnson

23 November 2021

27 Years since…

Yesterday, we embarked on our annual pilgrimage to Berrima which is a small village in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. It is approx. 1 hour South of where we live. We drive down there on this weekend every year, sometimes for the weekend, sometimes to spend the day there like we did this year.

Why Berrima? It is the place that my (now) Wife, Susan finally said ‘Yes’ to me asking her out to dinner, after declining me 5 times back in 1994. We were down there as friends collecting some items for a Christmas party that a Dog Club (that Susan was the Social Secretary of) was holding.

We had lunch at The White Horse Inn and it had such a romantic feel that I felt compelled to ask her out ‘just one more time…’. I did and she said yes! 🙂 After that we visited some of the shops (which are tourist orientated) and then went off to Berkelouw’s Book Barn at Berrima, which, back then held about 250,000 books. Unfortunately, the White Horse Inn has not been open for a number of years now.

Fast forward to this weekend, we have to do it in reverse these days as Berkelouw’s had to change to economically survive by reducing the amount of books (to about 100,000) and diversifying into a Wedding Reception venue, a restaurant/cafe and a wine-tasting venue. They close at 3.00pm each day for functions, hence the earlier visiting time. This was a shorter visit for us this time as we both found 6 books each within 1 1/4 hours. Normally it takes us longer.

After that, we took off to one of our favourite ‘Vintage-ware’ shops called “Sticky Beaks.’ We love visiting shops like these as they bring back a multitude of memories of things that were used in the past and one can pick up interesting curios, as we did again today.

Susan managed to pick up a tray that converts into a Grazing platter. Functional and artistic, I’m sure we will pit it to good use.

From there we set off to our lunch booking at Josh’s Cafe & Restaurant for a sumptious meal of Grilled Barramundi (a highly recommended fish in Australia), salad and then we shared a couple of desserts, ‘Pear and Rhubarb Crumble’ and Hot Chocolate Fondant, mainly because I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to have. 🙂 Deliciously decadent!

From there we visited Mrs Oldbucks Jam & Food shop and several other shops including a relatively new Berrima shop called, ‘Six Impossible Things’, the name coming from a Lewis Carroll story. It is set in an old Colonial cottage down a short pathway.

Sticky Beaks, Baytree Gallery, The Brown Shutter, Mrs Oldbucks

It was there that I purchased a glass Inkwell and some Calligraphy Ink. I had been looking for one of these for about 18 months. 🙂

It was a tremendous way to celebrate 27 years since we went out to dinner and for us there is no better place to celebrate it than where Susan said ‘Yes’ all those years ago.

Written by David Johnson

21 November 2021

Treasure Acquired 🙂

Knowledge Sits…

When The Student Is Ready…

No doubt many of you have heard of the phrase, ‘When the student is ready the teacher will appear.’ I thought of this statement this week when I listened to an episode of the ‘Savvy Painter’ podcast where Julia Cameron was being interviewed.

Julia Cameron is the author of 40 books including, ‘The Artist’s Way’, ‘Walking In This World’ and ‘Finding Water.’ Several years ago a Graphic Designer I met at a networking function told me about the book, ‘The Artist’s Way’ and spoke about the book and the author. I was quite intrigued and set about researching the book.

For one or another reason, I didn’t buy the book then, however, some time down the track, I came across the volume you see below which comprises all three books and purchased it.

One of the techniques spoken about in the first book is ‘Morning Pages’ which are ‘three exercise book pages of stream of consciousness handwriting’ that are completed upon rising each day. I remember doing the Morning Pages exercise for some 55 days in a row before I tailed off on the exercise because I guess, Life got in the way/I wasn’t ready. I have had a couple of goes at them over time but never really kept it up. Back to this in a moment.

The books are full of practical exercises (so they are not a quick read) and initially, when I purchased the set I must admit that it all looked quite daunting! I have tried a few times over the years to get started though these attempts have not lasted very long. This past week I was drawn back to the book and have started reading it as I believe I now have a better understanding of what is on offer in the book and how it will have a positive influence on my Art and Life in general.

This week I started doing the Morning Pages exercise again and today is Day 5 and I can honestly say that I am feeling the benefit of doing them each day. They help clear away some of the clutter that occupies the mind upon rising.

The 3 books together comprise 714 pages and are packed when exercises, inspirational quotes, mindset tips and practises and much more. I have already started reading the book and am enjoying the journey which I must admit I was just not ready for when I purchased this volume several years ago…

Julia Cameron, I’m more than ready for your first lesson!

Written by David Johnson

4 September 2021

https://juliacameronlive.com/

5 Minute Sketching Techniques

As I write this, here some 60km/37miles South-West of Sydney, Australia, we are in week 9 of the latest lockdown (with another, hopefully, only 5 weeks to go) due to the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Like many millions of people around the world, to put it simply, ‘we are over it’ and we are constantly looking at ways to keep one’s sanity (or as they call it these days, our mental health) afloat.

Fortunately, I have a wide range of interests and am particularly glad that a couple of years or so back I took up sketching along with Watercolour. It really has been a life-saver for me. Whilst I sketch and paint, my Wife continues her Crotchet journey she started a year ago.

These interests are a huge help when we are not building our business. I also have a part-time job share where I mentor people who want to start a business.

Within the last month I spent some money at the Book Depository via a gift voucher to further my study of sketching. The books below are just two of a series of books tasked with providing the willing student with ‘5-Minute Sketching Techniques.’

I possibly will buy one or two of the other books in the series but right now (as far as Watercolour is concerned), I am aiming to improve my skills in Architecture and Landscape.

I am enjoying the books immensely and cannot wait for lockdown to finish so I can sketch and paint en Plein Air once more. Till then I have to make do at home.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

25 August 2021