When a group of Australian women moved to Sydney in the 1970s, they were looking for a way to survive on their limited savings.
They turned to the shelves of bookshops and found the shelves filled with a number of books they found particularly comforting.
The sisters were thrilled with the selection and started to collect them and make a special collection.
The collection was a hit with the women and became a hit among their extended family, with the family sharing it with other relatives in a series of bookstores around Sydney and eventually the rest of Australia.
The books were passed down through generations and became part of the family.
“We’d put the books in our drawers and the sisters would say, ‘Oh my God, you can’t read them,'” Mrs Fisher said.
“So we’d look them over and say, yeah, I can’t do that.
And we’d say, well, if you can read it, you know, you should do it.””
It was really exciting and we felt like we’d found a home for these books,” Mrs Fisher added.”
And they’ve grown and evolved over time, and we’ve started to do some new things with them.”
Mrs Fisher, now 80, is the author of the popular children’s book The Little Sisters of Albury, and has written several books about the bookshopping tradition.
“I don’t think of it as a tradition, I think of what’s in the family, the bookshop,” she said.
“You know, in a way, the Little Sisters are kind of a mirror of the whole family.”
The Little Sisters, named after the Little sisters of England, are one of the most popular bookshoppers in the UK, and the books they carry hold a special place in the hearts of Australian families.
Mrs Fisher said the Little Brothers and Sisters tradition had been passed down for generations.
“They’re a family of eight, so you know it’s a long tradition,” she explained.
“If you’re a child, you’re going to be told that the first book you pick is going to go in the back of your hand, so that’s just part of what it’s all about.”
The Little Brothers are the oldest of the eight children and Mrs Fisher has written a book about their history.
“The Little brothers are a little bit of a mystery, they’re the oldest,” she recalled.
“The first one, we think, was born in the 1840s, so we know they came from Scotland, but we don’t know where.
Mrs Fisher’s book, The Little Brothers: The Family’s Secret History, is available on Amazon.
The bookshop tradition is an important part of life for the Fisher family, Mrs Fisher says.”
It’s really nice to have a bookshop in my home, and I think it’s really important to have that as a part of your home,” she added.