Green Door Books

By Kendrea Rhodes

Behind a green door, up a laneway off the Main Street of Lobethal, is a charming little world of unusual books, fulfilling that nostalgia for the welcoming bookshops of old. Feeling a little like the magical alleyways of the movies, the green door is an invitation for would-be time travellers to delve into a world where time slows, and reading, rummaging, and relaxing are highly encouraged. Such a relief in our fast paced, digital download age.

There are new and secondhand books for sale, as well as bartering options, but owner, Jason McKell is not a hovering shopkeeper. He wants people to wander and ponder, touch the books, sit in the armchairs, read, and be immersed in the music emanating from the 60s radiogram in the back. You’ll also find a rummage box to pick a book and name your price, an exchange system, and a freebie box out the front to grab a book while you’re waiting for the bus (or wandering by).

Jason said, “I want a nice place for people to feel comfortable … a place where people can read, listen to music, slow down and chill out.”

The range of books available to see, read, and/or purchase is truly eclectic, we can’t even list 1% of them, but there’s such a mix of genres that all ages and tastes are covered. For example: A General Theory of Oblivion (Agualusa), Motoring Skills and Tactics (Wherrett), Rare & Vanishing Australian Birds (Slater), My story (Uri Geller), The secrets of the Vatican (Sharad), Fortune Telling (Whittaker), Yarn Bombimg (Moore), Engineering Thermodynamics (Rogers),and collections of Dr Seuss, Enid Blyton, and Little Golden Books.

Green Door Books is an avid supporter of everything local including books from Lobethal poet, Belinda Broughton, a paranormal history of Adelaide by historian Allen Tiller (signed copies), and signed books by local author Andrew Johnson, who donates all profits to Beyond Blue. You can also support amazing local businesses like The Punky Brewster coffee beans (ethically sourced, roasted by Alex) and Cabra Leather, handmade leather goods and tanning services (Mitch Dykshoorn). Find them both on Instagram for more information.

Jason McKell at Green Door Books in Lobethal. Behind the green door is an eclectic mix of classic, unusual, rare and recent titles. Find Jason on Instagram and Facebook for a list of latest titles.

Jason’s interesting life includes many aspects of art and music and living. He is a musician and songwriter and was a professional airbrush artist for years. Before Green Door Books, he took a step back from the fast pace of modernity and lived in a van for two years. His “vanlife” enabled him to slow down, study and immerse himself in music; and it was during this time that a love for books, music and the Adelaide Hills flourished into future visions.

“Some places just call you back,” Jason said.

Future plans for Green Door Books include club and group gatherings through books and music. These visions will eventuate when a covid manageable life is normalised in South Australia.

The twelve-month anniversary for Green Door Books is coming up soon and what story about a secret behind a green door could resist a Shakin’ Stevens reference: there’s a radiogram and they play it hot behind the green door—watch out for celebrations at Green Door Books in December.

The bookshop is at 38 B Main Street, Lobethal (laneway beside the red real estate office) and opens from Wednesday to Friday 10-4pm, Saturday 11-4pm, and Sunday 11-3pm. Connect with Green Door Books on Instagram, or Facebook, or on 0426 208 884.

Why not make a day of it? There are plenty of lunch opportunities on the Main Street, and heaps of parking and newly refurbished toilet blocks behind the shop.

Photo and story by Kendrea Rhodes