ARE bookshops an unnecessary indulgence?
Of course not, but that’s the potentially hilarious set-up for a “great debate” taking place at Blarney Books & Art in Port Fairy on Saturday.
It’s all a bit of fun in aid of Love Your Bookshop Day, a national event aimed at celebrating and promoting bricks-and-mortar bookshops.
Blarney Books & Art has roped in four local authors for the debate.
For the affirmative, arguing that bookshops are indeed an unnecessary indulgence, will be Steven Conte and Matt Neal, while the pro-bookshop flag will be flown by Paul Burman and Tracie Griffith.
Conte is best known for his 2007 novel The Zookeeper’s War, which won the inaugural Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2008.
Burman’s latest book is Night-night, Sleep Tight, a psychological thriller he launched recently at Blarney Books & Art.
Griffith also launched her first book Redemption at Blarney Books last month.
Neal recently published his debut novel, a south-west Victoria-set mystery called Bay Of Martyrs, co-written by Scottish crime writer Tony Black.
Moderating the debate will be Wishart Gallery curator and book enthusiast Gareth Colliton.
The debate begins at 2pm and is a free event with free refreshments.
Love Your Bookshop Day is the brainchild of the Australian Booksellers Association, a not-for-profit organisation that represents bookshops across Australia.
It aims to provide education, training, advocacy, technical advice and marketing support to booksellers, as well as promoting the special role that books and book-selling plays in society.