How it all started (and why). Barry Long’s lifetime with books old and rare starts with a discovery in a rubbish heap. As a thirteen year old he discovered an old leather binding of rag paper pages of Johnson’s Works of the Poets. On arriving home, he struggled with the language of Dryden the 17th century satirist,  reading only a few verses. Holding in his hands a book someone held centuries earlier, he did not understand the poetry, but it communicated something.

Near Sydney’s Wynyard ramp, he took refuge in Tyrrell's bookshop. Employed in school vacations as a messenger boy, he would sneak into Tyrrell’s to buy books from his pay packet. Absorbed in his purchases, he almost forgot to collect lunches his workplace ordered. Further along he discovered an Aladdin’s cave:  hidden upstairs , his newly found treasure house was a second hand book section of Dymock’s  George Street store. The  quietly spoken, gentlemanly Sid Mann in his grey dust coat was always there, ready to be of service.

Books falling onto the roadway created havoc. After years of searching other city book shops, he purchased finely hand-bound books from Berkelouws’ in Hunter Street. Eighteen year old Henry Berkelouw always carefully wrapped the volumes into strong parcels and they arrived home safe and sound. But at another bookshop he bought a finely bound 19th century set of 22 Thackeray novels. Passengers helped him on and off the toast rack tram. Tied with string, the Thackerays collapsed when they fell onto the roadway as he climbed down from the tram. Although he managed to get all 22 volumes home, some of their gilt decorated spines were broken and separated from their covers. Immersed for decades in bookshops, auctions, book fairs, he was in later years guided by booksellers Timothy and Ann McCormick and Peter Tinslay.

More than half a century after the rubbish heap escapade, collecting slowed. The decision was finally made to sell off the collection and Banfield House Booksellers was initiated.  

Buying from Banfield House Booksellers: Banfield House Booksellers is the trading name of reflective bookseller Barry Long PO Box 1047 Gympie, Queensland 4570 Australia. Telephone +617 5482 1214. All terms are subject to prior sale and availability at net prices in Australian dollars plus the cost of postage. Pay by Visa, MasterCard, EFT or direct bank deposit. Your right to privacy and your right to return books is in accordance with Australian privacy legislation and Australian consumer law respectively.