The O’Connell Bookstore, the oldest antiquarian bookstore in Adelaide, is nestled in the city’s bustling Hindley Street, with a Thai restaurant and a café bar on either side. Like most bookstores in Australia it has a section on cricket books. Unlike other bookstores, the Don Bradman books you buy here come with a sign of the legend himself, who frequented the bookstore right up to his 80s.
Mother and son, Ben and Lindy O'Connell sit at the counter, where once Ben's father and Lindy’s husband, Reg sat. During Reg’s time Sir Don would often come to the bookstore and sign the books for the owners.
Recalls Lindy, “Sir Don was a very well-read man and loved the collection of books here. Reg asked him if he could sign a few of the books about him, and he willingly obliged.”
Sir Don wasn’t the only cricketer who often came down to the bookstore. Former Australia captain Steve Waugh would often come here and signed books by Tugga are still kept on the bookshelves.
“Steve Waugh is our favourite client. He came down here on many occasions when he was playing a Test at the Adelaide Oval. We’ve also had Ashley Mallet, Richie Benaud and Glenn McGrath come down to our shop,” Ben O’Connell told HT.
India coach Duncan Fletcher also came to store with his wife on Thursday. However, far from getting him to sign his autobiography Behind The Shades, the mother-son duo were caught unawares of the man behind the shades. “Oh, was it? We didn’t have a clue,” said Ben O’Connell, when told that the customer who’d just purchased the book was India’s coach.