Today I got to enjoy my first experience with Clunes Book Town Festival 2018. I gota say, it was better than I was expecting! Especially for only $10 entry!
I haven’t been to Clunes since I was 14 and I spent 8 weeks living there as part of a school camp designed to try and make us grow up and prepare us for living on our own. I’m sure this worked for some people, but not for everyone! I was kinda a hit and miss success for this program and my time at Clunes had both good and bad memories. However it was great to be back there and remember the good times I had here.
Now I should probably mention that I kinda dragged my partner along with me so I would have someone to talk to while I was there. But he’s not a reader, so the poor guy got to sit on the curb while I poured through stall after stall searching for my goldmine trophies. Which given my limited budget had to be pretty special.
We arrived into Clunes coming over a picturesque little bridge with willows overhanging the river. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this side however there’s a picture of the other side of the bridge for you below, hopefully that gives you an idea of how pretty this spot of the town is. Not that I remembered this from my time here 13 years ago.
We found a park in the first street we came across and made our way to the entrance to the main street of Clunes where the festival was set up in. As we made our way inside we were given a guidebook and I was immediately starstruck by all the book stalls and all the books piled up for sale. I pretty much immediately turned to my partner and said “and this is why my parents put me on a leash when I was a kid, so they wouldn’t loose me in amongst all the books”. To try and help me acclimate to all the books I found myself surrounded by we headed to the bakery I remember for having amazing rabbit pies. Unfortunately my dad’s request for a few went unsatisfied as it turns out they don’t make them anymore. Which immediately put me off having lunch there since I couldn’t get my customary rabbit and steak pie 🙁
However we got ourselves settled in with a hot chocolate for me and a cappuccino for my partner to plan out what we (me) wanted to do that day and what I wanted to try and achieve. This resulted on my inability to make a decision being shown yet again, so I settled on just walking up and down until I felt that I had seen everything I wanted to.
My first stop was with an author I hadn’t heard of before, C.E. Sundstrom and he told me a little bit about his books. It wasn’t enough to draw me in then and there however I couldn’t stop thinking about what he’d said about his books for the rest of the day. So much so that I HAD to see him again before I left for the day to grab a copy of his first book “Awakenings”. I will review this in the coming month and I look forward to finding out about the 2 women this series follows as I read it.
After speaking to Sundstrom I continued diving into the piles of books available in each stall and somehow managed to get a copy of Gone with the Wind for $2 and Wilbur Smith’s newest book, Pharoh for $5. Gone with the Wind I found in some tiny little stall at the very back of the classics pile and was pleasantly surprised when the woman running the stall only asked for $2, I was prepared to pay up to $5 for this one given it was second hand and a little worn. Whereas Pharoh REALLY surprised me for it’s price given it only came out last year and I paid $20 for it on my Kindle at the time it came out. But I needed a copy to go with the rest of the book series on my bookshelf.
At this stage I decided to let me partner control the speed of what we were doing by finding some food for lunch. And boy did he find a winner! Not only did he find a traditional Vietnamese food stall for him to get an amazing pork bun roll, but he also found a paella stall for me. Unfortunately people were a little too eager for the paella and so they started selling it before it was actually ready, but let’s not focus on the food since we’re here to focus on the books!
I was able to dive through all types of books to find the ones that really stood out for me. So if you’re thinking you’d like to go and see what they have to offer know that they have fiction, non-fiction, historical encyclopedia’s, books and novels as well as a range of kinds books and cookbooks among other themes.
After being allowed to trawl through some more books I decided it was time to treat my partner who’d had to drive me 2 hours there to ignore him and then drive me 2 hours home. So we went to the pub which we’d discovered earlier in the morning had an amazing beer garden, and we hung out there for a bit before we went on a Historical Tour of Clunes. This tour although not about books was pretty cool and I’ve got some pictures for you had some pretty cool facts about Clunes that made it really interesting. I’ve put a couple of photo’s below for you but to see the full range check out my Facebook page wher they are all uploaded for you to see.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the festival just comment your questions and I will happily answer them for you!