Thursday, October 11, 2007

Australian BookCrossing Convention 2007

This weekend, after months of planning and lots of work, was the 4th Australian BookCrossing Convention, in Melbourne. Being part of the committee that put this event together, much time was put into ensuring that the interstate and international guests had a good time, and experienced the weekend of expectations, to mingle with fellow BookCrossers.

Friday night we had pizza, and an author talk. Shane Maloney, creator of the Murray Whelan series of political satire and crime, spoke to us about character development, transformation into living personas, the effects of his characters on fans, and the occasions where going along with the notion that he is Murray has been to his advantage. He had also completed some research into the BookCrossing of his books, and related BookCrossing as an authors’ way of keeping his eye on his books, like a parenting role. Funny and charming, Shane was a hit!

Saturday morning had us walking around in groups around the city, releasing books and taking in some of the sights. Meeting at Reader’s Feast, who had sponsored us very generously, we listened to Mary tell of setting up a bookstore, developing relationships with bookbuyers and authors that would come in, and also of changing people’s lives through books. After this, the walk I led walked up to the State Library, before making our way to Carlton Gardens, one of my favourite spots in the city thanks to my daily walks to work through here, and then we trammed around to Federation Square to meet up with the other walks. We hastily put together a flash mob idea for a bulk, eye catching release in the city, and filed to Southbank, to leave a cluster of books along the ledge near the food court.

Many of us then had lunch in Southbank, with a group of us heading to the Blue rain café. Here at lunch I met a couple of the Melbourne BookCrossers I had been sending and receiving books from for quite sometime!

The evening was the traditional trivia night, with groups of BookCrossers going head to head, for knowledge and wit. The tables were randomized, and thus I sat with Queenslanders, New Zealanders, Western Australians, and Melbournians. And we had a ball! Our tables, named Wombles due to our mascot from Brisbane, we actually managed to come last! Thought we were so smart too! But had a great time meeting a new group, all of whom BookCrossing names have been familiar for years.

The Convention was based at Mary Kehoe Community Centre, in Albert Park, and getting here in Sunday morning to meet the caterers for brunch proved to be a challenge due to the Melbourne Marathon. Bronwyn and I made it eventually, and set up for the final event of the weekend. The Table of Temptation, set up from the beginning of the Convention was still well stocked, albeit with some doubtful quality.

An exhausting weekend for committee, and attendees alike, it was great celebration of a group of people into reading, passing on good books and recommendations, and leaving books out in the wild to serendipity.


  1. very good. thanks to all the organising committee


  2. Nice to read about it from a committee members point of view! Thanks!



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