GALLERY: Book show top of the pops

MORE than 400 pop-up books, some dating back to the 1920s, are on display at Belmont Library.

Among the more popular books are classics such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Cinderella, Moby Dick and Aesop's Fables.

The display has books for all ages, on subjects such as dinosaurs and dragons, marine life, architecture, motor racing and sex.

Library assistant Sue Leask accumulated the book collection over 17 years.

"I'm fascinated by the ingenuity in making them because they are hand-assembled," Ms Leask said.

People can look at the books but not all are available to touch.

"Some are behind glass because we can't have children enjoying the Kama Sutra - they might find it boring anyway," she joked.

Ms Leask said pop-up books had a rich and beautiful history.

"The first ones were made in the 11th century," she said.

Ms Leask said up to 300 books were made each year and were "getting more complex and interesting".

"Most of them were being assembled in Colombia and it was a great industry there, but by 2002 the Chinese had caught up," she said.

"It's a little bit sad because it was a Colombian industry that didn't have to grow strange weeds [cocaine]."

See the display 10am-2pm today and tomorrow.

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