Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Man I Met Yesterday

By Danielle Lancaster

With the grey skies lingering yesterday it was been a mostly inside day yet one filled with discovery.

After a much needed and relaxing manicure and pedicure with my daughter – yes now sporting bright red toe nails and light pink finger nails though in truth don’t have much in the way of fingernails - I found my two sons next door in a second hand book store. Soon we were all rummaging through the neatly packed shelves of books all perfectly indexed into authors and subjects.

At the front of the shop a grey headed gentleman sat quietly reading today’s paper though he soon realised we were genuine book lovers and enquired on our preferred reading subject matter. Already Mitch had under his arm ‘Eurpoe of the Ancien Regime 1715-1783’ when he soon spotted a Terry Pratchett book in the front window. Of course the book was the furtherest in the bay window but the gentleman retrieved it for Mitch without a word of fuss. After reading the reviews, intro and already being a few pages into it within a couple of minutes, Mitch was digging out his savings to purchase it.

To say Mitch loves book stores is an understatement. So finding this store was an added bonus during our visit to Melbourne and yes we walked out with a bag of worthy reading matter. Sitting at the table is Ken Cox.

By now the rain was falling heavily and the gutters were becoming miniature rivers flowing over the cobbled road edges. A good excuse we thought to stay a few minutes longer.

The shop we had discovered was “Out of Print Books etc” which you’ll find at 739 Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield. The gentleman, Ken Cox proudly told us, ‘we are on line, you know, so even if you want something you can search on line and I can send it up to you in Queensland.’

Now please don’t take this the wrong way, but I was at first a little surprised at Ken’s on line presence however I was soon to find out not only does this gentleman have a profound love affair with books old and new he understands that the web is a means of research, communication, a way to stay in business and most importantly for ken a way to connect with other book lovers.

Ken first turned this love affair into a business selling second hand books from a tiny shop near Caulfield Park before moving to the Glenhuntly Road premises eight years ago.
His wife Beryl works searching for out of print titles while soon Mike has been on board in the business now for more than 12 years.

I am curious, what is the ‘etc’ for in the title of the shops name? Ken explains that not only do they stock thousands of classic out of print books and provide a specialised service in finding out-of-print titles they also have modern second hand titles as well.

You’ll find books for all ages and reading genres here from Australian classic, crime, science fiction, romance, history, art, travel, sport: well I am sure you are getting the drift – you name it they will try and find it.

As we scroll the shelves we spot classic children’s tales that bring back memories of the stories my grandmother’s read to me while the more modern Harry Potter series also sit waiting for a new home and the pages to be turned. 

Neatly lined books line the shelves at “Out of Print Books etc”

I could have stayed and chatted with Ken longer but my children had other things on their to do list in Melbourne for the day so it was time to bid Ken farewell and wish him luck.

For book lovers out there, check out Ken’s little store or go on line and they may be able to find you that title you have been looking for.

“Out of Print Books etc”
739 Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mon - Fri 10:15 am to 6:00 pm
Sat - Sun 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Ph +61 3 9528 3822

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