Here is a question for you. Is there a scent that you associate with books? I don’t mean the smell of the paper, or the leather when you walk into a room full of old books. I mean, is there a smell that immediately transports you to reading heaven? Do you associate a perfume with a particular memory of reading, or a particular book?
For me, it is an easy ask. The minute I catch even a whiff of jasmine, I am in sensory heaven – jasmine poking through the paling fence, a sprig or two tucked behind one ear, sun on my back, book in my hand, sheltered from the cold early spring wind in a walled courtyard, pot of tea steaming by my side.
Yep – jasmine = books = September.
How very fitting then that just at the time when the jasmine is scrambling over everything (at least in this part of Australia), the nation’s biggest celebration of books and reading kicks off for a month long festival between the covers.
September is Get Reading month. Yeah! 50 brill books to choose from (in fact, 50 books you can’t put down). Buy any of the 50 for your choice of one of two crackers of books for absolutely nothing. Yes, across the country, booksellers are giving away these two especially commissioned books (one for adults, one for children) with every purchase of any of the selected titles.
Go here to see the 50 books you can’t put down and the two freebies. You can even download the free guide to the books, and then click through to our site to see the details, to read first chapters and to see our terrific prices. We’ve got everything in stock (or at least we have at the time of writing – if they get snaffled up, we’ll get more into our warehouse as soon as you can say “50 books you can’t put down” fifty times).
At Booktopia, we have made Get Reading even better. We are giving away the entire collection of 50 books to one lucky person who buys from the Get Reading 50 between now and the end of September. How good is that? 50 books you get to keep!
So what’s made it into the list? Well, we tried to put in something for everyone (I am allowed to say “we” because I had the great honour of being one of the four booksellers included on the selection panel earlier this year. Not an easy task – we had to get 500 choices down to 50. Try doing that and still remaining friends with your industry colleagues).
Some of my favourites are That Deadman Dance (Kim Scott), Sarah Thornhill (Kate Grenville), The Briny Café (Susan Duncan), One Day (David Nicholls), Caleb’s Crossing (Geraldine Brooks) and I Came to Say Goodbye (Caroline Overington). Other Booktopia best sellers are there – When God was a Rabbit, Past the Shallows, The Passage. For young adults there is the taut and terrific Mice, as well as The Hunger Games. Niromi de Soyza (The Tamil Tigress) and Kasey Chambers (A Little Bird Told Me) speak out. If you haven’t already read Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad, I thoroughly recommend it. For kids there is one from Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson fame) as well as Garth Nix and the very talented Emily Rodda (The Golden Door). Leigh Hobbs’ Mr Badger gets a guernsey as well as Jackie French’s Baby Wombat’s Week. As I say, something for everyone.
I am finally going to get to read Ros Moriarty’s Listening to Country and, yes, dare I admit this publicly, Freedom (Jonathan Franzen) at last, but in the new cheaper format. I should be just about able to finish them before the jasmine dries out for another year. Yep, it is September and it is time to Get Reading.