The answer has inevitably it seems come back to books, BOOKS and MORE BOOKS yet again. For all the talk of on line books taking over from the printed versions, I still think that noone's really answered the question of: What would we give as gifts if it wasn't for real paper versions of Books?
I just googled the question, what were the most given gifts this Christmas - and apparently it was Ipads and Kindles... so um, what's going on there? Okay so people are buying/giving the devices - but would you actually give/send someone an ebook? And would it rate as a 'real' gift?
So now I've just googled Christmas sales for bookshops this year and came up with this: "While most of the retail sector is in a desperate slump this Christmas, bookshops across the country are experiencing an amazing revival and many are on track to record one of their best years in recent memory."
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/bookshops-turn-the-page-and-cash-in-during-christmas-rush-20111222-1p77c.html#ixzz1poAZyQTz
Anyway in the light of the impending birthday, I made Archie forgo his current regime of a three hour morning sleep and took off to a trendy little waterside suburb that has wonderful quirky (non-chain) shops: Balmain. I looked in gorgeous gift shops, artisan antique stores, and collectible kitcheny meccas, finally ending up luxuriating in the rich atmosphere of some imaginative independent bookstores.
I found and browsed through titles that I NEVER would have found on line, one because it would have taken too much time, and two, because it was only in actually opening the books that I found some that were truly what I wanted. Covers can't tell you everything! and an on line description can only say so much...
After my pleasing purchases, which included birthday cards and complimentary wrapping, I hopped across the street to ZUMBO's (http://adrianozumbo.com/patisserie-menu/ ) and bought a swoon- worthy selection of his famous macarons. I can't wait to try his Easter Bun flavour! A complimentary Lychee-flavoured morsel was way too lovely to share with Arch (he had a cheese sandwhich from home), and after a quick coffee we trooped back home happy and semi-exhausted.
Awaiting on the doorstop was my less romantic way of obtaining books: