Encyclopaedia, The Paperbook Collective, Uncategorized
Comments 24

Reading My Christmas Tree and Other 2014 Resolutions.

I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions.

I guess I used to, a few years ago, but the only goal I ever seemed to achieve was spectacularly failing all my resolutions.

I’m feeling a bit optimistic this morning though. It could be because I have been listening to Flight of the Conchords non stop for the past four hours, and have consequently been cackling away to myself in an empty apartment. If you are ever feeling a bit flat, I highly recommend you give these guys a listen.

Here are a few song lyrics from my favourite song, Hurt Feelings, to inspire you:

It’s my birthday/2003/waiting for a call from my family/……/they forgot about me/
The day after my birthday is not my birthday Mum!

I am also finishing of Issue Six of The Paperbook Collective, and I am really happy with how it’s going. It will be released on time tomorrow, all things going according to plan.

So that’s awesome. 

Anyway, I have been thinking about a few things I would like to achieve this year. The first one was actually instigated by the fact that I can’t really be bothered packing away my Christmas tree. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that feeling today, because apparently the 6th of January is the day that you are absolutely 100% supposed to pack that bad boy away. It’s the twelfth day of Christmas, it’s all over.

Some of you probably saw my Christmas tree in this post, but for those of you who don’t know what it looks like, it looks like this:


So I have decided to simultaneously set myself a 2014 challenge, and avoid packing all these books away today.

1. I have decided to read my Christmas tree.

Each and every book. I will also share this Christmas tree with you, by posting short, 500 word book reviews of every book that makes up the tree. Unless I have reviewed them previously of course. I hope to get this finished by the end of January (yes, January!) so therein lies the challenge. I might be dreaming, but we shall see. I often have two or three books on the go, so I will have to keep on top of it to get them all read.

I am starting with the bow on top of the tree, which is wrapped around Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and The Old Man and the Sea. Luckily they are both novellas so I hope to have these reviews up by the end of the week.


2. This includes the Encyclopaedias.

Well, ok, I’m not actually going to read each page of every Encyclopaedia that makes up the tree. I will, however, read a few articles and share them with you.

In case you’re wondering, the Encyclopaedia’s make up the base of the tree. Slightly disrespectful, I know, but I needed large uniform books to create the structure.

Reading and sharing the contents of these historical books is actually quite pertinent at the moment, as Encyclopaedia Britannica has just announced that they are halting publication of the books, after an amazing 244 years in production. Everything is, you guessed it, going digital.

Excuse me while I collect myself.

I posted the article on The Paperbook Collective Facebook page if you would like to check it out. I am so grateful for my collection, I honestly believe that it is something that everyone should have in their home. It’s like a frozen snapshot of information from the year they were printed. Mine is from the year that I was born, 1987, so as you can imagine knowledge has changed somewhat since then. Which makes them even more precious. I wrote a post about them not long after starting The Paperbook Blog.


3. I want to get The Paperbook Collective Zines printed in colour.

A humble goal, especially considering that there are actually very few pages in the magazine that are in colour to begin with. But even these few pages are outside of my budget at the moment. So that is something to work towards in 2014.


4. I want to get advertising for The Paperbook Collective.

I don’t necessarily mean being able to afford to advertise the magazine, although there is that too. But I want someone, whether it is a well known publication, a radio station, magazine, newspaper, whatever, to sit up and take notice of our magazine. How? I don’t know, I guess I will figure it out.

5. I want to start a book exchange in my city.

I discovered, just before Christmas, that another small, independent book-store closed in my city. Another one. That leaves exactly zero second-hand book-stores (excluding the Salvation Army) and exactly one actual book-store that I am aware of. I have been investigating, but it doesn’t look good.

I managed to visit the book-store just before it closed, and spoke to the lady behind the counter.  Why were they closing? Because no one was spending any money in there. Greater Bunbury has an average population of 67, 000 people. Yet apparently we couldn’t even support two book-stores. And we are not alone. The lady informed me that 13 independent book-stores had closed in Western Australia in 2013. I can’t write any more about this because I get too emotional. Where will our children buy new books? Post coming about this very soon.

Deep breath. Ok, so if no one else is going to do it, I am going to do it myself. I will be organising a book exchange in Bunbury come hell or high water.

If you happen to live in Bunbury or surrounding areas and are reading this, I will be looking for books by donation in the next few weeks.

Spread the word! Stay tuned for details and inspiration…


So there you have it, for now. Five challenges that I am setting for myself in 2014.

I would love to hear about any challenges you are all setting yourselves this year, especially if it is along the lines of contributing work to The Paperbook Collective! I would also appreciate any and all advice you can give me about a book exchange. I’m not trying to make money or anything out of this, I am simply trying to make a stand, if you will, against the rapid deterioration of the Paperbook culture.

I would love for all of you to join me, no matter where you are in the world!



  1. Love your ideas and spirit! Shame that bookstores are disappearing in your part of the world. I think one of the tricky bits with book exchange is ensuring that the books that are put into the pot are of a certain quality (otherwise you might end up with a load of junk lit that no one wants to read!)

    • Thanks so much Angelina, and yes, it is a crying shame that bookstores are failing over here.
      I completely agree with your point about the books, I was kind of thinking that perhaps I could put some sort of rules in place to ensure that people swapped similar books? For example, they couldn’t swap a Penguin Classic for a Danielle Steele 🙂
      Lots of details to iron out but hopefully people will get on board!

      • Haha me too Angelina! It goes against the laws of nature doesn’t it. Thanks so much for the link, I will definitely check them out. It’s amazing getting this kind of help and advice on here! Thanks so much 🙂

  2. Love, love, love that *tree*! And best wishes in 2014 and I hope that your creative journey goes well-looking forward to contributing to future issues-

    • Thanks so much! It would be great to have your work in The Paperbook Collective in 2014. I still love your page in Issue One 🙂

  3. When I was a small child (5-7, or so) I read both sets of encyclopedias that my grandparents owned (one for kids, one for adults) and all of their dictionaries. It was fun, but I realize this made me a strange kid!

    • Wow, that is really impressive! And I’m sure it made you more interesting, not strange 🙂
      We didn’t have Internet at home until after I moved out (and even then it was only the slowest dial-up!) so we used to use the Encyclopaedias for all of our school assignments. But I still haven’t managed to read them all yet 🙂 If your grandparents still have their set you should make sure they hold on to them, or pass them on to one of the grandchildren because I think they are going to become very precious now that they are not being made anymore!

      • Not really, I was just a curious and obsessive child who started reading at an early age. To this day, I cannot pass a reference book of any kind without organically skipping about its pages. Unfortunately, my grandparents no longer have their EB or their World Book sets. I’ve no idea what happened to them, or when, let alone figure out why they did not come my way as I got more use out of them than the rest of my family combined. 😦

  4. Ah Jayde… the first major gift I ever received was an Encyclopedia Britannica. I was ten years old. It was a Christmas gift, proudly sitting next to our tree when I came home from Midnight Mass. For years I wondered how my parents paid for it. There wasn’t a lot of spare change in our household. Years later, when I was doing genealogical research, I came across a newspaper article in Oregon about how my Great Aunt had donated a new EB to her niece in California. Mystery solved. But the story goes on. Our first EB had been a hand-me-down from her brother (and my grandfather’s brother) Edison Marshall. It was the 1920’s version. Edison wrote historical fiction– quite successfully actually, seven of his books were turned into Hollywood movies and his short stories were included in high school readers of the day. What captured my attention, however, was that he had carefully drawn his journeys onto the maps in the back of the encyclopedia. He liked to travel to the places he was writing about and he was also a big game hunter. Lines went everywhere, including the heart of Africa. It gave me a taste for wandering that I have to this day. –Curt

    • Wow, that is incredible! A 1920’s EB would be wonderful to read, let alone one which carries so much of your family history along with it. I always draw my trips onto maps, I think it is such a great way of remembering your travels, as well as passing them on as your Great-Uncle did.
      Please tell me you still have your EB Curt. They are so precious. Mine is a set that will travel with me wherever I move, despite the back ache and annoyance that is involved!
      Also, thank you for sharing your EB story, as you have given me a great idea for a collaborative post…stay tuned 🙂

      • I’ll stay tuned, Jayde. 🙂 As for Uncle Eddy’s EB, my Mother passed it on to a friend when I was a way at college. Don’t have a clue what she was thinking but her son certainly wasn’t consulted. –Curt

      • Ahhhh, Mothers. They have a nasty habit of doing that, don’t they! Well I will be in touch this week about the post, and again, thank you for the inspiration!

    • Thanks for this link Susan! It looks great, I will have to investigate!
      Thanks for your words of encouragement too, they are hugely appreciated 🙂

  5. There’s also Smith’s Alternative Bookstore (on FB but undergoing website update). Part bookshop/ op shop/ cafe/ bar/ has a grand piano, stage and a liquor licence, book signings, poetry nights etc. Established since 1976. Do it!

  6. Pingback: Support Your Local Bookstore – No One Else Is Going To. | The Paperbook Blog.

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