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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 5, 2020

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Through my eyes: The Lifeline Bookfest

Matilda Butler

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Walking into the Brisbane Convention Center, breathing in the smell of literature and gazing upon hundreds of thousands of books is not an outing that everyone will appreciate. However, if you’re a lover fiction, non-fiction, science fiction and every other kind of fiction displayed on paper pages and wrapped up in a cover, the Bookfest is an event not to miss.

If I may, let me share with you the Lifeline Bookfest experience through my eyes…
(All opinions and descriptions reflect how a sci-fi loving book enthusiast sees the world. Perspectives may be slightly warped.)

The journey begins with a bus ride into the Cultural Center – the center of all things cultural. As the moving rectangle rolls through the streets of Brisbane, I look out my window and see the sweat smudges of the previous passenger blocking my view. So instead of gazing outside, I begin thinking of all the wonderful books I will discover in the great halls of reading materials. In a living dream, I walk off the bus, up the street and push wide the doors of the exhibition center. Walking through the entrance I see people holding plastic bags full of bargains. I even see a wheelchair empty of its owner and filled with books. I see a baby placed on the ground as his mother fills the pram with books. I see book gluttony everywhere as I walk into Hall 3.

Old men push their glasses closer to their eyes as they study vintage books in the corner. The romance section is aflutter with women while children run wild in the kids section, completely ignoring the books. I see a crowd of people wearing Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Warcraft t-shirts and I’m at home. The sci-fi section – where I find all my treasures. A new edition of my favourite series, a few random selections, a few classics and I’m done. Ten dollars later and the Bookfest experience is over for the time being. I go home, shake the dust from the books and begin reading.

The Lifeline Bookfest will start tomorrow June 8th and will finish up on Tuesday June 11. Visit the website for more details on parking, travel and information. Volunteers from UnitingCare Community fill up Exhibition Halls 3 and 4 and by fill up, I mean packed to the brim with books. From experience I can tell you, by the end of the Bookfest, only a few sad books are left behind. The rest begin a new journey with a new reader.

The books will be sorted as per usual into their various genres:
Children’s; Australiana; History; Reference; Humour and Oddities; Biography; Literature and Classics; Textbooks; Travel; Health; Science Fiction; Hardback Fiction; Art and Music; Paperback Fiction; Cooking; Computers; Religion; Foreign Language; Vehicles and War Craft; Hobbies; Sport; Gardening; Animals; Penguins and Pelicans; Economics; Sociology; Philosophy; and Science.

Within these genres you’ll find books of “high quality”, books priced at $2.50 and books priced at $1. All proceeds go towards funding the UnitingCare Community‘s Lifeline 24-hour Crisis Line, Lifeline Suicide Bereavement Groups, the Lifeline post-disaster support program Community Recovery, and UnitingCare Community services across the state.