Saturday, July 23, 2011


Even though Rainy Day Books is predominantly second hand books I do also stock some special new titles usually local authors or books of real interest.

One of these is:

Acknowledgement to:

"Beyond the facade ; Flinders Street, 
more than just a railway station" – by Jenny Davies.

This is a recently released, privately published, comprehensive cover of the icon of stations, Flinders Street. “Under the clocks” is a favourite Melburnians meeting place and at some time the station would have touched the lives of nearly every person in Victoria.

This book covers not only the railways aspect but the social impact. The station was originally built to include the social, recreational and educational needs of the Victorian Railways employees and also commercial aspects were added.

The station soon became the focus of life for many Victorians. Opened on 22 January 1910 it has remained central to the life of Melbourne for 100 years.

Very well written and beautifully produced the book completely covers all facets of the stations history with many black and white photographs. 

Remember the Traveller’s Aid Society and The Man in Grey? There is even a section covering the well remembered toilets.

The shop has copies of this large paperback book for $60. Mail orders accepted with a charge for postage.


Recently we had a book collectors club meeting at the shop.

Just a small but enthusiastic group that collect and love the works of Elinor Brent-Dyer. They are called the Chalet Club after the main series this prolific author wrote. Wonderful girls school stories set in the Alps. She was a teacher and headmistress and the stories have an authenticity that show a deep understanding of schoolgirls. The nearly 100 books were written and published between 1922 and 1969 and recently talented local authors have added to the list with retrospective titles filling in gaps to the series.

These books evoke another time and another way of life but are still a “jolly good yarn” for old and young alike.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A bookshop is more than .......

A bookshop is more than just a place to see and buy books.  It can be a wonderland of opportunity and challenge.

I've loved bookshops since I was a small child.   Opening the door and entering into a world where I could lose myself quite contentedly with Victorian and Edwardian story books as well as picture books, I found not only pleasurable, but a place where I could forget all the problems that children have - worrying about school exams - having had a disagreement with a teacher - not being able to comprehend certain subjects.  The bookshops were a world where I felt secure and comfortable.

And I learned the wonder of touching books with exquisite bindings, opening pages where the most beautiful illustrations leapt out at me, and transported me to imaginary and fantastic worlds.

In the years since (quite a few decades) my love of and for bookshops and books has constantly increased.

One of my early memories of visiting Rainy Day Books in The Basin, was to meet Meryll - so friendly and eager to help - her knowledge of books and authors is second to none.

I saw bookshelves crambed full of books by authors I knew by name, and others I'd never heard of - many of whom I have since been introduced to and who now sit in my vast list of favourite authors.  A large, wonderfully comfy sofa awaiting book-lovers to sit and relax and leaf through books before purchasing sits just inside the shop, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere added to my experiences.

And I enjoy seeing Mums and/or Dads come into the shop with their children - who squeal with delight and make a beeline for the children's section.   Again bookshelves of brightly coloured books, in a small divided section with a coloured mat to sit on.   To see a child's face when he or she finds a book they like is well worth the visit.

Visitors to the Dandenongs who love books, can do no better than to make sure they include The Basin in their journeys.   The time spent at Rainy Day Books, meeting and talking with Meryll, and wandering around the bookstore choosing something special from the marvellous selection of books available, enhances any day.   You just never know what you'll find or discover.

....©2011 Rosemary

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Johanna Verweerd – THE WINTER GARDEN
Written by Holland’s most beloved Christian novelist.

After 15 years garden design artist, Ika receives a letter from her sister to say that her mother is dying. She moves back home to be with her and opens a Pandora’s box of memories and hurtful episodes. As her mother’s condition detiorates Ika tries to discover the secret of why she has always felt so unloved by her family.

THE BEE AND BEEKEEPING DISPLAY IN THE WINDOW looks lovely and bright with many interesting titles including:
Maya, the adventures of a bee – Waldemar Bonsels
The sweet life of bees – Sue Monk Kidd
Bee boles and bee houses – A M Foster  
The keeper of the bees – Gene Stratton-Porter
Bee season – Myla Goldberg
Looking forward to the new window we will be featuring gardening books about ferns and I am planning to bring from home a huge potted rabbit’s foot fern to show.

THE MAIN ITEM OF INTEREST in the shop at this time is an amazing rotating bookcase from the late 1800s complete with a 1877 ninth edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica. This is the final English edition before it transferred to the USA.

Two libraries have shown interest in this beautiful piece so come in quickly if you would like to see it.