For as long as I can remem­ber I’ve loved being in lib­rar­ies. Brows­ing the shelves of my local pub­lic lib­rary as a child I’d seek out the same books time and again. In primary school the beau­ti­fully kept lib­rary was much more enti­cing to me than the play­ground (yes, I was one of those chil­dren). As a teen­ager I hung around the pub­lic lib­rary so much that they even­tu­ally offered me a job, and I work there still. Now at uni­ver­sity I find excuses to wander around the massive base­ments full of intriguing tomes on a reg­u­lar basis.

Stem­ming from a love of all things book­ish, and in a fit of mad­ness and ambi­tion Raphael and I made a zine. Titled Moira and the Witch, it’s a twis­ted Baba Yaga fairy tale, with machine embroid­ery by me.

 My first zine. We’re rather proud of it. The sort of people who buy zines seemed to like it too. People pay­ing for some­thing I’ve made is a new thing for me (as simple as it may sound) and I was rather chuffed to come away with more money than I’d arrived with. A new exper­i­ence for someone who gen­er­ally can’t res­ist the papery delights offered at such places.

Selling the zines also took some adjust­ment. Each one was indi­vidual and done by hand, and it simply hadn’t occurred to me that once sold, I’d never see them again. Stu­pidly for­got to pho­to­graph them all. Sep­ar­a­tion anxi­ety. Oh well.

Swap­ping was fun though. It felt more valid and mutu­ally appre­ci­at­ive than simply buy­ing and selling. I exchanged one of my little zines for a beau­ti­ful little image of a bee, trapped behind resin, to be worn as a pendant. Art for art’s sake. Happy times.

There was another copy how­ever, that I didn’t mind part­ing with. Sev­eral people from the National Lib­rary came past, and pho­to­graphed us for some blog (I can­not fig­ure out the where­abouts of it on the NLA’s web­site though). And they took a copy of Moira, for the col­lec­tion! Our humble zine, down in that enorm­ous base­ment, by the lake, with those book car­ry­ing robots (I won­der if they’re still all called Charlie?), and all the other books pub­lished in Aus­tralia that the lib­rary can get hold of. Well, that’s one copy of Moira that I can go visit.

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