Those familiar with McCleod's Used Books will struggle to believe it, but its new incarnation opposite Nunawading station - in town to score? why not pop in for a browse! - is even more of a mess than the original. I realise that relocating an entire book shop is a mammoth effort, but honestly it looks like once they got the shelving up somebody just stood at the front door, closed their eyes and began throwing books. The layout is not so much haphazard as it is a fire hazard, the lighting is poor, and the classic McLeod's problem remains: too many crap books. They seem to have culled a fair amount of stuff, but there are still plenty of unsellable space-fillers. For example, why do they need eight copies of Robert Edric's In the Days of the American Museum? For as long as I have been visiting McCleod's those eight copies have been sitting there collecting dust; now they've moved and they've taken the eight copies and the dust with them. Are they hoping to tap into some latent market for unloved literary fiction amongst the "Nunners" intelligentsia?
Of course, I write with a jaded eye. (I stole it from a jade monkey.) Those who haven't been overexposed to McCleod's unique brand of chaos will find plenty of interest amidst the teetering stacks. And at least the new shop doesn't smell like sewerage. Maybe they should say that in their ads.