Bookseller and writer Anthony Marshall where art thou, kindred spirit? I recently discovered your two books by chance in an Austin, Texas used bookstore – Trafficking in Old Books (1998) and Fossicking in Old Books (2004), far from their place of publication in Australia. There may be copies in abundance in Australia, but they are pretty scarce here—my excuse for overlooking them these many years. And what an oversight! Your adventures running an antiquarian / used bookstore in Melbourne and ancillary essays are among the damndest, bestest, funniest biblio-writings I’ve encountered. Your prose enlightens and surprises: creative skills meeting a worthy subject. I must simply salute you.
But I’m just late to the party. Some sleuthing revealed you received accolades upon publication (and just as importantly, brisk sales) primarily in Australia and the UK, but also a foray into the US where you did a few books signings. Both books sold in the thousands of copies, not an easy achievement. (You record a sold-out print run of 5,000 copies for the self-published Trafficking in Old Books.) You even had a fan base and book signings in Tasmania! Admittedly, that was much closer to your bookshop in Melbourne than it would be to someone in America, but it sure sounds exotic and alluring as recorded in your delightful Fossicking essay, “Et in Tasmania Ego.”