Showing all posts tagged: bookshops

Before the Coffee Gets Cold Readings 2022 bestselling book

21 January 2023

Australian bookseller Readings released a list of their top one hundred bestselling titles for 2022, yesterday. Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down, winner of the 2022 Miles Franklin award, Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen, winner of the 2022 Stella Prize, and the aforementioned Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au, are among Australian written titles to feature in the top-ten segment.

But Japanese author Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s 2019 novel, Before the Coffee Gets Cold, came in as the number one seller last year. I’m a fan of time travel stories, not to mention cafes and coffee, but am surprised to have missed this one until now:

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold…


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Bookseller boss worried by slow post lockdown return to city centre

26 November 2021

John Forsyth, chairman of Dymocks Group, one of Australia’s oldest booksellers, is concerned local government isn’t doing enough to rejuvenate Sydney’s CBD, particularly in the wake of recent pandemic imposed lockdowns. He isn’t alone. Businesses in other commercial centres across Greater Sydney are also feeling the pinch. They’re urging municipal councils, many of whom are facing elections in early December, to do more to bring people back into city centres.

But I’m not sure it’s that simple, and other ways to support struggling businesses may need to be considered. Some workers don’t want to return to central business districts. Having been forced to work from home, many are content to stay there. And who can blame them? Working from home means less time lost to commuting, commuting in the first instance, and more time to spend with the family, and on other things they find important. These people are still supporting small businesses, but ones closer to home, rather than in the city.

It’s long been my thought that advances in technology were always going to bring about this sort of shift in work practises eventually, the pandemic simply hastened the inevitable. What happens in the few months will be pivotal. Many organisations are paying rent on buildings that are virtually unoccupied. How will they respond? By instructing workers to return? Or by scaling down office space? But with some workers looking to relocate to rural regions, and renewed talk of four day working weeks, will we ever see the return of city workers to pre-pandemic levels?



Love Your Bookshop Day 2021

9 October 2021
Love Your Bookshop Day

Happy Saturday. Today is Love Your Bookshop Day, and the occasion couldn’t be timelier after many bookshops in some parts of Australia have had to keep their doors closed for months, and contend with a series of lengthy lockdowns that have affected everyone.