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A sketch by yours truly of the proposed Oxymoron Books shop

Oxymoron Books is currently a dream. A dream to convert a large van or a motor home into a travelling bookshop. This will allow me to take the magic of a traditional brick and mortar bookshop to parts of Tasmania that don’t have access to a bookshop.

Why?

Many reasons:

  • According to 26TEN – a government network designed to improve literacy rates in Tasmania – 48% of Tasmanian’s do not have the literacy and numeracy skills they need for life in a technologically-rich world.
  • Despite these literacy rates, Tasmania has a thriving author and publishing scene. My time working as a bookseller in Hobart has left me with a great appreciation for the passion of the local authors and the incredible support of locals and tourists alike for locally published books.
  • There are some amazing bookshops in Tasmania, full of knowledgeable staff and marvellous selection of books. But most of these stores are located (quite sensibly) in larger populated areas. Sometimes accessing these bookshops is awkward – sometimes parking is a nightmare, sometimes finding the time to when visiting the city is just not possible.
  • Because shopping online just isn’t the same as walking into a bookshop. There’s the waiting time for books ordered online, made even longer by simply being in Tasmania – we’re not exactly a high priority zone for postal services. And then there’s a sense, a feeling and the smell of books that you cannot replicate by shopping online.

My vision for Oxymoron Books is to support local authors and take a curated selection of books on the road. I want to make books more accessible to Tasmanian’s of all ages. You could call it taking the books to the people.

Being on wheels means I’ll have the flexibility to reach communities outside of the main population areas and given them that true bookshop experience, just in a smaller form. From the smell,to the wonder of flicking through a book and friendly conversation.

I’d also love to connect with local authors and writers to host various events – from meet-and-greets with authors, to book launches and writing meets. I think it’s important to encourage everyone to enjoy the written word.