Category: Books

Books links

I came across several very useful book-related sites recently (and some not-so-recently), so I thought I’d share them here.

Booko — Aussies, this site finds the best deals on buying books in Australia. You can do a search on a book that you’re after, and it will do a price comparison across most online booksellers (including Amazon US, Amazon UK, Book Depository, FishPond, Dymocks, and lots of other local booksellers as well), shipping costs included. For the overseas booksellers, the site even does the currency conversion for you and take that into account in the price comparison. Book Depository almost always come out the cheapest. But it’s still great to have an online tool that does the researching for me 🙂

Library Elf — This site had practically saved me hundreds of dollars in library fines. It’s a personal library reminder service by email! It’s available internationally, as long as your library is on their list. It links up to your library account, and sends you a reminder email a few days before your books are due, which is great for me as I never remember the due dates! I used to turn up to the library worrying whether I have some late fees waiting for me, but no more!

I’m also excited about Randwick library’s downloadables — As someone who knits a lot, I love listening to something while I knit. Usually I listen to podcasts, or just music, but recently I found out that my local library now offers downloadable audio books (as well as e-books). Well they’ve always had audio books (in the form of CDs and even those ancient cassettes), but now I don’t even have to make the trek to the local branch to get them. You do have to be a member to use this service, so I guess this one is just for those in the local area, but perhaps other libraries have something similar?

Childhood books

Speaking of books, and since this post needs a picture 🙂 these are some of the books that I found at a book fair last weekend. These are books that I used to enjoy as a child, except that back then what I was reading were the Indonesian translations of these books. I loved Enid Blyton‘s books the best, especially the girls boarding school ones of St. Clare’s (which has a girl called Claudine!) and Malory Towers — which eventually inspired me to go away as an international student, all the way here in Australia. How funny is that! So now I’m on the hunt for these old books whenever I go to op shops or book fairs (I know they have new reprints of these books, but no, I don’t like the new ‘revamped, modernised and politically-corrected’ reprints, I thought the new bookcovers just look dreadful), so I can re-read them and pass them on to Annette to enjoy.

What books did you love as a child? Or, if you have any Enid Blyton books that you don’t want, let me know, I might want them 🙂

Vintage love

This post on Suzy’s blog reminded me that I meant to blog about these vintage knitting pattern booklets that Donna of Chookyblue sent me a few weeks ago. Donna found these in an antique store and got them for me! Thank you again Donna, you’re so sweet!

I love these, I think the patterns are so charming. Donna sent me two booklets, these are the fronts:

Vintage knitting pattern booklets

And backs:

Vintage knitting pattern booklets

These booklets are so old, just holding them in my hands feels like holding a piece of history. They don’t have any publication dates printed on them, but the geeky part of me wanted to know just how old these are. They were printed in Australia, by Patons & Baldwin Wools, so they’re not one of the British Patons ones. The prices are given in the old currency, which means these were printed prior to 1966 (Australia adopted decimal currency in February 1966). Patons Australia started printing their booklets in colours in the 1950s, so these black and white booklets are older than that. My best guess would be sometime in the 1940s.

(My sources for these are this discussion on Ravelry and this informative post by Taphophile. If you know more, do let me know!))

Inside, the knitting instructions are pretty much the same as the way they are written nowadays. Except for this line that was printed at intervals throughout the booklets.

Inside vintage booklet

It says, “STOP.—Have you checked your tension?” (tension aka gauge). Very wise indeed.

These will be one of my treasured possessions I’m sure!

New old books

The uni near our home holds a huge second-hand book fair every year in April, so Annette and I braved the rain to check it out yesterday. Not much luck in the Crafts and Knitting section unfortunately, but found lots of books for Annette in the childrens section, mostly for 50 cents each.

I just love the look of these old cloth-bound books.

New old books

Particularly the kittens on the cover.


And inside the Mother Goose book there’s these lovely illustrations that I just couldn’t pass up.


Ladybird, ladybird

We’re having a long weekend here (yay!), I hope you all have a good one!

In the garden


Lavender from a shrub next to the front door of my building. The scent is heavenly whenever a breeze passes by!


And the other day I got hold of this book from my local library. It’s a quirky and perhaps kitschy kind of book, full of patterns for knitted cottages and gardens like these…

Knitted garden and cottages

And my favourite, a “garden bed”, hehehe…

"Garden bed"

Hello again!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and new year! Our family had a quiet one this time. We’ve had a Christmas get-together with my parents the week before Christmas, just before they left, with hubby’s parents, and some family friends as well. We spent Christmas day by ourselves, and even on new year’s eve we didn’t feel like venturing out to join the crowds. It was good just to relax at home. I got this pile of books to entertain me.

New books

Thank you so much for your kind comments on my last post. They mean a lot to me. Don’t worry, I’m okay, and I’m ready to look forward to what this new year will bring. Here are just some things that I’d like to do this year.

— Knit more. Last year was rather slow, knitting-wise, for me. The only things I made for myself were socks. Not that there’s anything wrong with knitting socks (I’m totally an addict now)! I just didn’t have time for anything bigger. But several talented knitters with their fabulous sweaters are enticing me to knit jumpers or cardigans for myself, so I want to make time to knit at least one or two this year.

— Having said that, I will still sew. Last year I got a chance to develop my sewing skills, and I want to keep going. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for Annette, and after forever admiring other crafters’ gorgeous quilts, I think it’s about time I jump in and do it.

— Yarn diet. Yep. I had never imposed a yarn diet on myself before, mainly because I thought my stash was not that big. Oh, pardon me, the noise you just heard was the sound of my husband roaring with laughter. Hello! Time to face reality! I kept putting this off, saying to myself, after this purchase I’ll go on a yarn diet. But now it’s for real. I won’t be buying any more new yarn until I’ve made a reasonable dent in my stash.

— And finally, I’d like to have more hours in a day so I can do all the above. Heh! But wait. Annette is starting preschool two days a week this year, so more time for me me me! Yay!! Excellent.