Monday, 21 May 2007

Where do all the books go?

Marburg township is not a raging metropolis. Early morning sees the showground populated with training trotters, the footpaths by dedicated walking groups of older ladies and the streets by bleary eyed commuters setting off for points east. The corner shop is busy doing a brisk trade in milk, bread and papers during commuting hours and the school run. The pub hums in the late afternoon and early evening, but calm usually reigns during the day. By nightfall, most people are inside their houses, living their lives away from view.

I was surprised yesterday to have to compete for a parking spot when I went to do my first job as a paid-up member of the historical society – being on duty for the bi-monthly open house. The older gentleman in the ute who nicked my spot right in front of the hall turned out to be the only customer for the day so I had to rein in my chagrin at having to walk all of a few extra metres. It turns out that he is writing a book on the history of the local Catholic church.

All these books, where do they end up? Do people read them? Are people going to read mine?

There were several nice things about the quiet afternoon. Apparently I missed about an hour of trail bike riding next door. I learnt a lot about what the historical society has in its archives and the services they offer. I had a good talk with some of the other members. I discovered a perk of membership – being able to borrow the books and also to photocopy material. And I found an interesting family history that has a detailed account of one of the migrant ship journeys.

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