Abbey's Bookshop

Abbey's Bookshop is one of the largest indie bookstores in Sydney, located in the heart of the CBD.  They've been running since time immemorial, which is to say, 1968, and they're still going strong.

I was in there last week to sign copies of The Pericles Commission.  Which was a very weird feeling, because back when I was a university student I used to frequent Abbey's quite a lot.  I passed by the store every day and it was the easiest thing to just drop in.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd have my own book in there.

Abbey's very kindly interviewed me last week.  The questions and answers are in their April Crime Chronicle, and also up on their blog.



If you'd like a signed copy, this'd be a terrific time to call or email them.  In fact, if you do, please let me know and I'll go back to write you a personal message.

I'm never quite sure what to write when I don't know who's going to buy the book.  When I get to meet the buyer (which I much prefer!) I can ask their name and what message they'd like, if any.  But if I don't know who's going to read it, what should I write on the title page?

Apparently most authors simply sign their name, but personally I'd rather write a short message.  So what message should I write to a complete stranger?  Suggestions welcome!

9 comments:

Anthony said...

"Thanks so much!"

Ricky Bush said...

1968--wow!Hope they have another 40 years in them. Had to be a cool experience selling in your old stomping grounds.

Gary Corby said...

Ricky: Abbey's does a great job, and they're in a terrific spot. I think they'll be around for a while.

Anthony: I've put that in a list I'll use!

CPatLarge said...

I sign with 'Namaste' and my name and date...not that I have tons of experience, but my one non-fiction book has provided some opportunity.

And it sometimes starts an interesting conversation...

Gary Corby said...

It certainly must, because I just had to goggle Namaste myself! That's a good idea. Maybe I should do a Greek equivalent? Chaire!

Karin said...

Namaste is nice. My "Karibu kitabu" has turned out a bit complicated, because even if my book is about East Africa I cannot expect everyone to understand that it means "Welcome to enter this book" in Swahili. So now I've settled for a Swedish phrase that says approximately "Hope you'll like it!"

And Gary, a totally unrelated question: Have you written about the Greeks and colours? If you did I missed that. If you didn't – do you know anyone who did? Apart from saying that Greeks were so undeveloped that they could only see black, white and red, or something.

Gary Corby said...

Hi Karin! I did indeed do a post. See The Colors of Ancient Greece.

The Smithsonian Magazine did an article too.

Karin said...

Thanks Gary for quick answer. Amazing, those colourful statues! And a very interesting article in the Smithsonian Magazine.

I should have put my question differently: With all the colourful sculptures and decorations, how come there is so little mention of colour in the ancient texts? I'm trying to understand Homer's wine-coloured sea. And I don't buy the explanation that he was blind or that the retinas of Greeks were less developed in those days than ours are. And would he be referring to red or white wine, to begin with?

Gary Corby said...

That's a terrific question, and I wish I had a terrific answer. You'll also note that painting doesn't get much mention in the ancient texts, beyond the names of a few famous painters.

The wine-dark sea puzzles everyone. Wine back then was certainly dark in colour even if it was technically white wine. The clear wines you can see through are a relatively recent development. The Greeks liked sweet wine, and they liked to toss in herbs and seawater.

Personally, I've always assumed Homer referred to the colour of the sea when it was dusk, in which case the water could perhaps take on a wine-like hue under a red setting sun. But that's purely my guess.