Lifeline bookfest, or how I bought too many books

I’ve been to the Lifeline Bookfest before, but never walked out with so many books. Turning up on the last day, I didn’t really expect much left, but there were still giant crates of books not on display! I’m not sure what they’ll do with them… maybe compost? :S

I looked around for a park near BCEC for a while, then gave up and parked underneath. Normally I’d park under the State Library, which is a couple of blocks away and cheaper having a flat rate for entry. I’m very glad I didn’t, since I ended up making two runs to the car to drop books off :)

It was a fun few hours wandering around the hundreds of tables, other than my neck being quite sore by the end of it. I picked up 35 books for a total investment of $68 (including parking) - even doing that by weight it’s pretty cheap. The cost of the Tablet Weaving book I’ve been looking at buying recently was $50 online, and I picked up a near-new original edition, for $2.50. So… a good result just there! I expect to get many hours of reading from the fiction novels, let alone the rest of the reference books, so I’m quite chuffed.

Here’s a list (terribly categorised, too bad!) of what I picked up, and a quick muttering about each one.


  • The Pocket University Volume XIII Guide to Daily Reading - William Rose Benét Published in 1934, this is a beautifully bound celebration of regular reading. Pretty meta, I’m looking forward to reading it!
  • Principal Drugs - A. L. Morton The Twelfth edition, released in 1946 is a guide to the drugs that a nurse should know, and in most cases their dose and applications. I’ll be going through this and writing up something about it at a later time, it’s tiny and cute.
  • The New Testament, in German & English This beautifully printed and bound copy from 1930 has some amazing typesetting, splitting each page vertically, having english on the left side in a fairly normal serif font. The German (right) side of each page is in a spectacular gothic font. I’m not religious, but the attention to detail and typography fascinated me much more than the dollar it cost me to procure. I googled the last line on the last page “Poeschel & Trepte, Leipzig” and found that the typographer was probably Carl Ernst Pöschel who was pretty famous. Definitely reading up more on this one.
  • Missel-Vespéral Et Rituel A tiny black leather-bound book of roughly 1300 impossibly thin pages talking in french about something religious. The binding, typography and illustrations of the book are fascinating. This edition was printed 1st January, 1952 in Belgium by the looks of it.
  • Science and Health With a Key to the Scriptures - Mary Baker Eddy Another religious-related book, printed in 1972 by the Christian Science Board of Directors Boston, Massachusetts. Inside the back cover is a tag from the “Christian Science reading room” in Brisbane, on North Quay. It seems it still exists, just in a different place, and they still publish this book as a “text book”. The logo on the book drew me in (it’s probably 3cm across). Definitely one to read through with curiosity, the reviews on GoodReads make it out to be nearly as “good” as the bible.

Christian Science board of directors


  • The Techniques of Tablet Weaving - Peter Collingwood. This was on my wish list for tablet weaving, being one of the “must have” sources of information on the topic. Recently the price had jumped to $50 on various sources, I picked up an original edition in great condition for $2.50!
  • The art of Tassel Making - Susan Dickens Doesn’t seem to be interested in the history of it, but it has some neat pictures and techniques information.
  • World Furniture Has many pictures of furniture through the ages. Some nice photos of period examples which seemed cool.

Weapons and Firearms

  • Straight Shooting - Jack Pollard An Australian book first released in 1963, I picked up a 1971 update version. Fascinated to know what the shooting sport looked like in those days. Loads of photos and diagrams and other information.
  • Weapons A Pictorial History Pictures of old weapons, came in a $5 bag. :)
  • History of Warfare 579 pages of pictures and information, surely worth $2.50!
  • Lyman Shotshell Handbook, 2nd edition The 1976 edition of the seminal hand loader’s guide. Just for interest’s sake.
  • Guns and how they work - Ian V. Hogg “You pull the trigger and they go bang, right?” said the lady at the counter. Sure, but this has many diagrams and information on what happens in between.

General History stuff

  • The History and Technique of Lettering - Alexander Nesbitt This looks like an interesting coverage of font/typography through history, if nothing else it’s got some cool pictures :)
  • Western Europe in the Middle Ages - Joseph R. Strayer Printed in 1955, it’s an early history book with a large list of additional readings and an interesting index.
  • Chatelaines (Genevieve E Cummins & Nerylla D. Taunton) Pretty shiny things you hang from your person, with lots of pictures and information.
  • The Styles of European Art Covers a wide period of early European history, had a lot of pictures and was $2.50 :)
  • Appreciation of Ancient and Medieval Science During the Renaissance (1450-1600) - George Sarton Published versions of spoken lectures by the author regarding a discussion of science during the Renaissance. Looked interesting.


  • Woodwork Step-by-Step - Richard Irving Lots of pictures and information on simple woodworking tasks, a good introduction and skill builder for the pre-power-tool age.
  • House Repairs and Maintenance
  • House Decoration These two are short handbooks published in the early 60’s with lots of hints and tips on the topics. Lovely period examples of pre-internet knowledge storage :)
  • Introducing Furniture Making - John R. Trussell Another handy book full of information on its chosen topic, has great diagrams of joints and design elements.
  • Black & Decker Power Tool Carpentry A late-70’s celebration of what easily-available cheap power tools allowed for with carpentry. Part advertisement, part really handy book full of fantastic clear depictions of different wood working techniques, I look forward to reading this one.


  • Great ways with steak & chops - Australian Women’s Weekly / Ellen Sinclair This looked ridiculous, the picture on the cover includes crinkle-cut chips!

Great ways with steak & chops



  • The Bourne Supremacy - Robert Ludlum Always wanted to read the Bourne books, this was part of a bag for $5.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum - Robert Ludlum As above, great character in the movie, I can only imagine the books are great.


  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russian Literary classics, I can’t help myself really.
  • Bravo Two Zero - Andy McNab I’ve heard about this and always meant to read it.
  • Seven Troop - Andy McNab It was sitting beside Bravo Two Zero, looked interesting.
  • A Twist of the Wrist II - Keith Code One of the must-read motorcycle skills books. I don’t ride anymore (though I desperately want to) but still fascinating and can be costly to find a copy of. $2.50!
  • Dropping your Guard. Erk. This looked interesting from a interpersonal development thing, but after I bought it I realised it was very church-y and based around bible interpretation. I should have realised since I was buying it from Lifeline, but I’m sure it’ll have some interesting points.

#books #shopping #adventures