Foreword with Joe Rubbo

In this month’s issue of the Readings Monthly I was lucky enough to interview Colm Tóibín about his latest novel, Long Island. Colm Tóibín is a novelist I admire for his clear, beautiful style and the way he is able to make you so invested in the lives of his characters. I love all his novels based in County Wexford, The Heather Blazing being my favourite, but also his big fictional biographies like the very recent The Magician, about the life of Thomas Mann. It was very generous of Tóibín to take the time to answer some questions for this little magazine. I’m told that he was on the beginning of a very busy tour to promote the new novel, so we are very fortunate. You can also see my review here.

To close out the month of March, Readings ran a small stall at the regional literary event Clunes Booktown. Readings first became involved in the festival through our Foundation and Prizes manager and Readings Kids book buyer, Angela Crocombe, who is a Clunes resident. For those of you that haven’t been before, there are literary talks over the weekend and a number of second-hand book dealers popping up around the township for the weekend. We had lots of authors pop into our tent to say ‘hello’. Local – to Carlton – author Tony Birch was there raiding the bargain table. Many of our regional customers who we don’t get to see very often also dropped in to say hi. If you like the idea of hunting out rare books and attending literary events in a beautiful gold-rush era town, put Clunes Booktown in your calendar for next year.

If you’re in need of a literary fix sooner, and perhaps closer to home, the Melbourne Writers Festival kicks off this month. There is a wonderful range of local and international authors that I’m excited to see. Of the international cohort, I’m very interested to hear from Toshikazu Kawaguchi, whose novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold has been the number-one bestseller at our Emporium store for the last two years straight, selling close to 4,000 copies to date! Again, we will be the festival bookseller so please come and say hi if you’re attending.

If you’re looking for yet more exciting bookish outings in May, we will be holding a sale in our warehouse in West Melbourne on the last Saturday of the month (25 May). We moved into this spacious warehouse early last year and this will be our first sale in the space. It is a short walk from North Melbourne and Southern Cross stations. Please come and say hello, there will be some bargains to be had! Find more details about the warehouse sale here.

 Read review
Cover image for Long Island

Long Island

Colm Tóibín

In stock at 8 shops, ships in 3-4 daysIn stock at 8 shops