As a proud Melburnian and bibliophile I just thought I should point out that the city has become only the second (after Edinburgh) to be named a City of Literature. I think it’s an incredible declaration and I was extremely pleased when it was announced back in August coinciding with the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. Books are never far away and they are never difficult to find in this city. It is not only the massive chain stores, where there are very few here, but also the smatterings of second-hand bookstores, independent bookstores, hole-in-the-wall stores, and book cafes. Libraries also feature strongly around the city too and where ever I have lived, I always managed to have a library very close by. I’m very lucky at the moment to be able to count on having four libraries close by, However, it’s not just reading. Writing is a ferocious past time among us too.
Although I’m not quite sure what this means for the city, and what will change, this is one city appointment that I actually care about and which is extremely inspiring. One thing I do hope, however, is that we don’t become all selective, fussy and ‘high class’ about books and what constitutes as literature (which is still debatable anyway). The most important thing about books is that people are able to enjoy a story and to escape into another world.
A photo (not a very good one unfortunately) of the State Library of Victoria at night.