The History of The Big Books in Alice Springs
The Alice Springs Public Library in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, is an important part of the Central Australian community. It is also home to the Big Books, constructed in 2018 during a library renovation project.
The Big Books are a set of eight giant books standing against the wall on one side of the library’s building. The library attracts 120,000 book lovers a year and is also famous for its historical Alice Springs collection.
The collection comprises materials rich in the history of the Central Australian Community, including its scientific and cultural heritage. Visitors can access the materials in the library during visiting hours. Alternatively, the library also has an online catalogue that serves the locals and other public libraries in the Northern Territory.
Interestingly, the Big Books are a collection of a famous British Novelist Nevil Shute, who lived in Australia in his later years. Shute, who was also an aeronautical engineer, exceptionally combined history, science and romance in the novels he wrote during different historical periods.
“A Town Like Alice“, published in 1950, was his first book while living in Australia. The book is about a young English woman who falls in love with a fellow prisoner of World War II in Malaya and risks it all for love when she is finally liberated. She moves to Australia to be with her lover and brings with her all her financial inheritance.
With her money, she attempts to grow the economy of the small outback community to make the town more like “Alice”, referencing Alice Springs. This romantic novel, which was later turned into a movie in 1956, earned Shute his place as a major Australian writer.
Other big things in Northern Territory include: