The Readers of Sydney

Words & Photographs by Kevin Rabalais
 

In early December, I spent a few days in Sydney, moving with my camera and a backpack full of books among the city’s beaches and arcades, its cafés and bookstores. Thanks to its subtropical climate, Sydney offers endless opportunities for outdoor reading. For those who don’t want the sand of Sydney’s many beaches on their pages (occasionally kicked up by surfers racing toward potential waves), the grand buildings in the central business district, among them the majestic Queen Victoria Building, offer reading havens.

“Usually when we read a newspaper or book, we hold it in our hands,” John Berger writes in an essay on André Kertész. “Meanwhile what we are reading, whether it is a news item or a poem or a philosophical thesis, takes our attention and a part of our imagination elsewhere.” The latter—particularly the grammar of a reader’s body, along with the life that hums, unnoticed, in their midst—has always fascinated me. In today’s installment of Sacred Trespasses, I offer these images as part of a continuing pursuit to preserve the moments of public reading that I consider myself fortunate to observe.

 Queen Victoria Building. 

Queen Victoria Building. 

 
 Bronte Beach.

Bronte Beach.

 
 Beneath the Harbour Bridge.

Beneath the Harbour Bridge.

 
 Bronte Beach.

Bronte Beach.

 
 Circular Quay.

Circular Quay.

 

Tamarama Beach.

 
 Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach.

 
 Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

 
 Kinokuniya Sydney.

Kinokuniya Sydney.

 
 Macquarie Street.

Macquarie Street.

 
 Pitt Street Mall.

Pitt Street Mall.

 
 Post Office.

Post Office.

 
 Strand Arcade.

Strand Arcade.

 
 The Rocks.

The Rocks.

 
 Wynyard Park.

Wynyard Park.

 
 Ampersand Books.

Ampersand Books.

 
 Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach.

 
 Bondi Walk.

Bondi Walk.

 
 Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 
 Queen Victoria Building.

Queen Victoria Building.

 
 Bronte Beach.

Bronte Beach.

 

 

 

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