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The bookstore is Reader's Feast. I am delighted.''. They have been waiting, e-mailing me, desperate to know whether we would be back before Christmas. I think it will be fantastic for us, and for my 26, for Georges, 000 loyal club readers. I am really delighted with the outcome. At the time Mary said, “Georges has a 'wow' factor. One hundred and twenty-eight years later it was to become the new home for Reader’s Feast booksellers. Brothers Willie and Harley George opened their iconic store in 1880; it was amongst Melbourne’s first department stores located not only in the heart of the city, but also in one of the most desirable and high class locations in the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street. Our workplace is an extension of ourselves and the embodiment of our passion for books; judging by the reaction of our thousands of customers, it is also an important part of the fabric of our city.” For four months behind the scenes Mary and her team set about breathing new life into the Reader’s Feast name and it was announced in December 2011 that Reader’s Feast would open in an exciting new location, 162 Collins Street, also known as the ‘Georges Building’. I have 22 booksellers here, three of whom have been with me for 30 years and the average tenure is 17 years. In mid 2011 Mary said: ''I do not subscribe to the view that bookstores will not survive the ‘new’ world of electronic books and internet buying. But Mary had survived previous owners and her wealth of experience in the industry and love for the book were driving forces that would see Reader’s Feast once again open to the public. The collapse was a tragedy that decimated Melbourne’s bookstores and, though Reader’s Feast had survived the worst of the administration, it was looking like they too were about to see their last chapter. As Reader’s Feast approached the twenty year mark in mid 2011 it was caught up in the collapse of RED Group Australia who were in ownership of the store at that time. Mary staffed her bookshop with a unique team of committed and enthusiastic booksellers who were experts in their field and who remain in her employ today. Over the 20 years of Reader’s Feast on Bourke Street, Mary not only created an iconic bookstore but was also the convenor of two annual festivals and a host of literary events. Mary trained as a librarian and has been a vocational bookseller in Melbourne since 1977; in that time she has been President of the Australian Booksellers Association, most importantly, a volunteer in the library community and, a judge of national book awards, General Manager of Reader’s Feast Bookstore. Reader’s Feast was opened in 1991 and managed by Mary Dalmau. For two decades a cornerstone of Melbourne’s literary community was “Reader’s Feast Bookstore” located on the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets. Melbourne has a long and rich history as a literary city, aided by independent bookstores, author events and literary festivals. The story is its reincarnation in 2012 at a time when the traditional bookstore is thought to have lost its relevance. (more).Read more...
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