Sunday, February 10


I have recently been at the receiving end of a wonderful bit of serendipity.  I had half and hour to kill before my movie started, so, naturally, I allowed my feet to carry me into the Dymocks bookstore.  When I go to Dymocks, I only look at two shelves.  The first is the Classics section.  The second is the Children's Classics section.  The latter was where the happy accident took place.  

Now before I unveil the surprise, I'd like to back up a bit and give you some context.  You know by now that my favourite movie of all times is You've Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.  Meg Ryan plays the beautiful Kathleen Kelly, who is to me and many other book-lovers, the quintessential bibliophile.  In the film, after being forced to close down her children's bookstore, Shop Around the Corner, she wanders into her competitor, the Fox Books megastore, where the following dialogue takes place:

A woman browsing, stops a sales person.

 Do you have the "Shoe" books?

 The "Shoe" books?  Who's the author?

 I don't know.  My friend told me my
 daughter has to read the "Shoe" books,
 so here I am.

 Noel Streatfeild.  Noel Streatfeild wrote
 Ballet Shoes and Skating Shoes and
 Theater Shoes and Movie Shoes...
  (she starts crying as she tells
 I'd start with Ballet Shoes, it's my
 favorite, although Skating Shoes is
 completely wonderful, but it's out of print.  

 Streatfeild.  How do you spell that?


 Thank you.

Ever since I saw this movie for the first time, I have had my eyes peeled for any book by Noel Streatfield.  And it was in Dymocks on this particular occasion that I happened across a gorgeous cloth-bound, hard-cover edition of Ballet Shoes, (1936), bound by an actual burgundy ribbon, as seen in the picture below (image from the Book Depository).  

And now, instead of whiling away my empty holiday hours, I can take myself into bed and snack on the words of one Noel Streatfeild, courtesy of Kathleen Kelly.  


  1. Mmmm... I don't walk into bookshops anymore, I order on line! No argument with a sales person taking you for an idiot! Am expecting a History book at the moment but there is no letterbox outside of the old house where I rent a flat. It looks like I'll have to stand on watch for the postman tomorrow morning.... maybe going to a bookshop isn't so bad after all.

    Thanks for your comment on my 3x20 blog

    are your father's initials BJS by any chance?

  2. Thanks for your comment. It's lovely to know that someone is reading! Yes, I've had to order all my university textbooks on line, and the delivery man gives me a funny look when he has to come to my house every day for two weeks to hand me my package. He must think I'm a book-shopaholic! Which is not wrong! And my father's initials are actually DMH. Sorry.

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