FOUR rare antique books loaned by the State Library of Victoria were one of the highlights of this year’s Clunes Booktown Festival.
The books included a medieval manuscript from 1490, a journal of Governor Arthur Philip during his first trip to Botany Bay and a book of artworks made with old metal from the Clunes region.
The festival’s artistic director Tess Brady said the sixth annual event had been fantastic.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant. We’ve had lovely weather and lovely crowds.”
Ms Brady said about 15,000 attended the two-day event.
“We’re just getting stronger and stronger.
“All the sessions have been very well attended.
“The rare and antique books have been popular and demand for the workshops has been quite high.”
Click here for photos from the event
Guest speakers included renowned authors Alice Pung and Peter Goldsworthy, politician-turned-writer Tim Fischer and psychologist Gina Perry, who wrote about the famous shock machine experiments.
Mr Fischer said Clunes was a very special book festival.
“The joy of Clunes is it keeps anchored to the goldfields – with an international flavour,” Mr Fischer said.
Another highlight was Children’s Booktown, with the Clunes library decked out in a Narnia theme.
Musician Earl Leonard kept the kids entertained while children’s author John Nicholson and cartoonist Sam Harmer also provided plenty of amusement.
Workshops included science writing, beginning your own book collection and the art of reviewing.
Children’s book author Hazel Edwards said it was wonderful to see so many book lovers.
“There are millions of ideas in this town today, in the books and in people’s minds,” Ms Edwards said.
The streets were also lined with book sellers, including publishers, while there were food stalls and roving entertainers.