Visit Eklektos, Elounda’s Bookshop

Beryl Darby chatting to INCO members
Beryl Darby chatting to INCO members

On the way to the centre of Elounda, Crete, just by the post office is Eklektos, a gem of a bookshop. The owner, Lynne McDonald is a font of local knowledge and acts as an unofficial tourist information centre.

From personal experience, I know Lynne loves to support authors of books set locally and I’m proud to say you can find Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa on her shelves. After a busy day out (click here to read Beryl Darby meets Kazanis) Beryl Darby and I were pleased to spend the next day participating in Lynne’s first ABC event – Authors, Books & Conversation. Held in September, the bookshop gave several author’s the opportunity to meet readers over drinks and nibbles.

In addition to local advertising, INCO – the international residents association, supported the event by sending details to their members. The shop and shady veranda buzzed with chat and laughter from the outset, and I know Lynne was delighted so many people came to meet the authors.

 

An invitation to participate in a Flash Fiction competition brought excellent entries. The one hundred word story could be about anything as long as it included the word, Bookshop. Clever writers covered a wide gamut of topics, funny, sad, eerie, mythological, and romantic. To read the winning entry by Vanessa Westwell, on the Eklektos website, CLICK HERE. As a prize, best selling author, Patricia Wilson presented Vanessa with a copy of her novel,  Island of Secrets in audio form. Some people commented afterwards they’d have liked the opportunity to read the entries on the day. Perhaps this is something Lynne will build in if the event it repeated in 2018.

At the end of the afternoon an accordion player made an unexpected, but delightful appearance to round off the event. Here author Richard Stevens dances with his better half, Kay. Writing under the pen name Argy Stevens, Richard’s book is called Discrete Reversal and it’s on my ‘must read’ pile for Summer 2018.

As well as providing a great venue for a chat, a cuppa and local knowledge, Lynne also runs a webpage called Bookshop in Crete and a fun Facebook page, Eklektos Books. If you feel you’re missing out as Elounda is too far away for you to drop in, Lynne will send books by post – just visit her blog and select the tag labelled SHOP.

INCO logoPreviously in this post I mentioned INCO, the Foreign Residents Association for Agios Nikolaos and East Crete. This Not For Profit Organisation supports social, cultural, charitable and community activities. Some members enjoy the gardening club, camera club, gentle walking, weekly coffee and natter sessions, ad hoc days out, quizzes, and fund raising among other activities. Each member participates in as much or as little as they wish. If you are unfortunate enough to need time in hospital then the INCO network can answer questions and allay fears. Members don’t need to live full time in Crete.

JOIN INCO – for a subscription of just €10 per year you get a warm welcome with lots of contact information and emailed activity updates. There are members to take your details and subscription in many places including Elounda, Limnes, Kritsa and Agios Nikolaos. If you’d like to know more you can email incocrete@yahoo.com or ask Lynne in Eklektos bookshop.

I’m well aware this has been a tough year for Lynne, and as well as thanking her for supporting me as an author, I like to take the opportunity of wishing her and the fabulous Eklektos Bookshop a great season in 2018.

Perhaps this is a good time to draw up my must read list in 2018 – easier to stick to than resolutions! In no particular order my list includes Monica – Beryl Darby, Discrete Reversal – Argy Stevens, Seraphina’s Song – Kathryn Gauci, Villa of Secrets – Patrica Wilson, The Ariadne Objective – Wes Davis. I’ll add another two books when John Manuel publishes his next novel and Richard Clark publishes his guide to East Crete. Oh what a surprise… my ‘to read’ list is full of books set in Crete. What about you? What’s on your must read in 2018 list?

Finally, Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “Visit Eklektos, Elounda’s Bookshop”

  1. Yes it was a memorable and enjoyable day, Yvonne and one that now has even more significance for me. Seeing some of the photos after the event, I was disgusted with how I looked and made the decision to go on a diet at the end of the summer. Almost four months later, I have lost 2 stones and seeing this video again has made me realise I did the right thing! Richard was also shocked at seeing this snippet again as he has lost 3 stones…and we have both had haircuts!! Hopefully at the next Eklektos get together I shall not be so ashamed to look at the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I should be interested in knowing some more about the carob trade in Crete in the last 200 years. A friend in Sissi told us that carobs were shipped out of this port, I suspect heading for Athens but I don’t know for sure. In Folkestone, Kent, there is a firm called Plamil which uses carob to make faux chocolate. And I read somewhere that the seeds were used in the phonograph and jewellery industries. Any more local history would be gratefully received.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David. Mid way between Elounda and Plaka there is an old carob processing factory. It is derelict and would make a fab restoration project. In Elounda, as you pass down the steep turn towards the saltpans, the building on the left was something to do with the carob trade… the facts escape me at the moment. All along the coast, small inlets/harbours have the remains of carob warehouses – my favourite beach at Karavastasi, east of Agios Nikolaos is a fab example. In the area of Vathi there are the remains of a substantial carob “orchard”, warehousing and processing buildings.
      When St John the Baptist spent his time in the wilderness eating locusts, he probably ate carob as their other name is locust bean.
      The seeds inside are a uniform weight, used for weighing precious items…might be where the term carat came from for gold etc.
      Many moons ago, I worked in a health food shop, Plamil carob products were very popular.
      I’ve now more than exhausted anything I know about carob. Perhaps someone else can add some info. X

      Like

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