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Posted: Apr 8 2018, 10:41 AM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 143 pts
Quirky tin shed bookshop 'borne out of laziness' offers booklovers' sanctuary
By Shelley Lloyd
Photo: The bookshop is little more than a tin shed in Bardon in inner-city Brisbane. (ABC News: Shelley Lloyd)
Imagine pitching a business model to a bank manager for a bookshop that's open 24-hours-a-day, with no security and payment being optional.
It defies logic and common sense, but it works.
Logical Unsanity Books and Miscellaneous Phantasmagoria is little more than a tin shed wedged between a group of shops in leafy Bardon, in Brisbane's western suburbs.
It is not your average bookshop — it is not entirely weather proof, the shelving is made of old styrofoam vegetable boxes, discarded government bookshelves and even an old safe, with a mishmash of second-hand furniture.
But do not be deceived by shabby appearances.
The book collection is carefully curated and catalogued and is in demand by booklovers across Brisbane.
There are no staff and while the books are priced, that is a relative measure — people pay what they can afford or even not at all.
'A natural progression of laziness'
Bookshop owner Yarran L. Jenkins, 30, is also not your average book seller.
He has had the shop for three years and said it was the natural progression of his childhood efforts at retail.
Photo: A note left in the bookshop by a customer. (ABC News: Shelley Lloyd)
"We had an avocado stall when we were kids up on Tamborine Mountain, so I had personal experience with the concept of just leaving things and people putting money in the box," Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Jenkins admitted it was an unusual concept, but one borne out of laziness.
"I didn't want to have to open and close the shop all the time — I guess it was a natural progression of laziness to just leave it open all the time," he said.
Mr Jenkins has bookshop pedigree, having worked in the industry for 11 years.
He has a warehouse in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, which is open only by appointment.
"It is the opposite end of the spectrum, selling high quality, rare and antiquarian books," he said.
"I love books in a unquantifiable way — I find them captivating and fascinating, even those I could never read because I'm not interested in the subject."
Photo: Owner Yarran L. Jenkins has had the bookshop for three years. (ABC News: Shelley Lloyd)
'Not in it to make a million dollars'
Visitors also find the name of the bookshop equally fascinating.
"I've been interested in the physics of the universe since I was 15 or 16 and that is how I explained how the universe was structured and that is sort of where the name came from," Mr Jenkins said.
At a time when major booksellers around the world are haemorrhaging money, this quirky little bookshop is holding its own.
"It definitely does OK but it's not enough to live off on its own," Mr Jenkins said.
"It's not going to get me a big house or allow me to retire or anything but it is one part of the greater book machine that I'm part of.
"I'm not in it to make a million dollars but I still need to eat and pay my rent and all that jazz and it definitely helps me do that."
He said Logical Unsanity had attracted a loyal following.
"People like that they can come and there is not necessarily someone here," he said.
"No-one is going to ask them if they want anything and they can buy whatever books they want because no-one is going to judge them on the book.
"They can also come at anytime, so if they do shift work, they can come by.
"We get a lot of bus drivers and cabbies come through, and they love it."
Good karma pays off
Surprisingly, there is very little theft from the shop that is largely unattended and Mr Jenkins is philosophical about those who do not pay.
"There are people who just take books, but that's OK," he said.
"I have to be OK with that — it's like swings and roundabouts because others will pay for more than they take."
Photo: Some novel shelving options in the Logical Unsanity bookshop. (ABC News: Shelley Lloyd)
Bookshop sanctuary for late-night anxiety
Mr Jenkins said some people who come to the shop are also looking for more than just books.
"We have a guestbook and we get people who write in the book," he said.
"There are numerous notes from people late at night out walking, they're suicidal or really depressed or really anxious, and they've written really lovely notes about how it's helped them."
One note read:
"It's 11pm and I'm not doing well mentally so I took a drive and found myself here surrounded by a bounty of beautiful booty.
Coming here has put me in such a better state of mind.
It has brought a smile to my face.
Logical Unsanity, this is the best idea having a 24-hour bookshop.
You have saved a life this night and for that I will be forever in your debt.
I love you Logical Insanity.
Thank you - The Attic of My Mind xoxo "
Mr Jenkins said he never found out what happened to The Attic of My Mind but he hoped the bookshop provided a sanctuary for someone in need.
"It made me feel sad but also gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that I helped someone," he said.
"I have no idea who they are or what happened to them but that sort of feedback has definitely been a driver to keep the shop going.
"People can come here and retreat from the world — if they can't sleep, or they are in trouble they can come here, they know that it's here — that's really nice."
The fact that this has been operating for three years with minimal theft is a tribute to human nature.
I wish something similar was operating in Perth as we have boxes of books we no longer need and would definitely donate them as the concept is more than a business. It is providing a community service.
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
Posted: Apr 8 2018, 04:40 PM
Member No.: 3
Joined: 21-July 11
Rep: 66 pts
Yes it is a community service.
I know quite a few farmers over the years who have sold produce (pumpkins and other veges, nuts etc) on roadside self serve stalls.
Most found too many people didn't do the right thing and pay for what they took, so they gave up on the idea.
Great to hear it seems to be working fine for this gentleman.
Everybody is Willing:
Some are willing to work, the rest are willing to let them!
The older I get, the better I was.