Each year Clunes, a picturesque Goldfields village thirty minutes north of Ballarat, turns into an International Booktown – the main street is closed off, and popup bookstores appear in most of the shops, while book stalls line the footpaths. When a dear friend suggested a cultural outing, I didn’t immediately leap at the suggestion…until I saw the advertising for Clunes Booktown Festival and just knew it would be the perfect weekend destination for two librarians.
The interesting thing about the Booktown crowd was how subdued it was: despite the perfect autumn weather, live music, a Punch and Judy show, and kids’ activities, the crowd was very quiet, respectful as though in a large outdoor library. People didn’t jostle one another, or talk loudly on phones, or yell at their kids/dogs/each other. It was very civilised and soothing.