Attentive readers of The Cow will remember how Gould's Book Arcade played a pivotal and somewhat spooky part in my quest to create a musical work based on Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Although I mentioned that Gould's is one of my favourite places in Sydney, I glossed over it a little in the EVP post since it had a small part to play in that already lengthy story. But this wonderful literary landmark definitely deserves some dedicated Cow ruminations.
Gould's is a great sprawling collection of secondhand books, records and magazines that is about five minutes walk from where I live. In my opinion it should be deemed one of Sydney's National Treasures. The narrow aisles are quite literally crammed with books and it is easy to spend a Sunday morning rifling through the stacks.
In addition to the Raudive Breakthrough which I mentioned in my EVP post, I've found some great stuff here over the years. I have no doubt that in among the nooks and crannies of the shelves, pushed to the back and way up high, there are many fabulous gems to be found. Like all buried treasure, you'll have to work hard for it though - there is a loose cataloguing system in place, but it is less Dewey Decimal than 'oh, somewhere over there in the back corner'.
The people at Gould's also understand the magical affinity between books and cats, and whilst the books are important, as is the proper order of the universe, cats have the upper hand.
Bob Gould tells me that he gets lots of tourists that come just to marvel at the massive collection, which approaches nearly a million books. Sadly, he says, most marvel but don't buy. This is an unfathomable concept for me. If I want to avoid buying a book, that necessarily means avoiding even entering a bookshop.
Gould's also has an online catalogue, accessible through their website or at Abebooks. But as instant-gratification as that might be, it's nothing compared to spending a few hours among the shelves.
And for Cow's sake, buy something!
Gould's Book Arcade
32 King St
Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? ~ Henry Ward Beecher