Susan Hauswirth, volunteer coordinator for the perennially popular Vegan NSW Book Stall, shares the story behind the stories.
The Vegan NSW Book Stall has been in existence for over 10 years. Originally set up by volunteers back when Vegan NSW was still called the Vegan Society of NSW, it was taken to various vegan expos and festivals as part of their stall. In November 2017, the first Sydney Vegan Market was launched at the Portuguese Club in Marrickville. A few moves later and we found our home at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. The book stall is one of a number of stalls run by Vegan NSW at our popular Sydney Vegan Market. The aim of the book stall has always been to spread the vegan message – to support vegans and promote veganism. It is a not for profit project and is still run by volunteers.
Every month thousands of people, vegan and not yet vegan, visit our market and find their way to the bookstall. There are over 200 books to browse through and purchase at any given market, with an emphasis on variety and providing something of interest for everybody. We stock a range of books covering topics from philosophy and ethics, to health and nutrition, cooking and food, and a range of beautiful children’s books. We also have a number of ‘how to go vegan’ books. New books arrive each month so there is always something different to look at.
Which books are popular? Well, cookbooks win hands down there – vegan food is amazing!
Some recommendations from the huge range of authors we have would be:
- Vegan 100, Vegan Christmas and Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley, the Avant-Garde Vegan. With gorgeously prepared and photographed food, these recipes will have you drooling!
- Alongside Gaz, the BOSH boys have been very popular, with titles such as Speedy BOSH, Healthy BOSH, Bish Bash BOSH and simply BOSH, they have multiple options covered in a delicious and easily accessible way.
- The latest cookbook from Australia’s own Shannon Martinez, Vegan with Bite has also been in high demand.
Alongside the more well known authors, books specific to needs are also popular. We have cookbooks for gluten free vegans, low FODMAP vegans, keto vegans, vegans in a hurry, vegans with a taste for international cuisine, vegans who like to make their own pantry staples, athletic vegans, cake loving vegans and more!
I personally love our books for children. We have books for all ages from the very young to teens:
- A popular choice for the youngest would be the Swan Series by Anita Ahmadizadeh, which explores important issues through the adventures of Swan (Anita’s daughter) with titles such as Swan Says No to Plastic and Swan Sets the Circus Free.
- I can’t speak highly enough of Ella and Billie by Nicole Godwin. These books gently educate children about the plight of elephants in captivity (Ella the elephant) and the damage we are doing to our oceans (Billie the dolphin) and are exquisitely illustrated by Demelsa Haughton.
- We have a couple of fiction titles for teens and Amanda the Teen Activist by Catherine Kelaher is a great choice.
All three are local authors.
Chatting to customers reveals that vegan aunties, uncles and teachers often purchase children’s books!
Our range of books on ethics and philosophy also attract quite some attention, as do the health and nutrition titles. With topics ranging from animals rights to environmentalism, a vegan travel guide and everything in between.
The market is a Covid-safe event, with the operators strictly adhering to government guidelines and ensuring stall holders and visitors do the same.