Not so much the telephone counselling, but the glories of the Lifeline bookfair.
The Noodle did not wish to go. He made this abundantly clear. For a generally polite and considerate fellow he can surely pack a massive wallop of sulky bad behaviour when he feels the need. But the parents won the day (huzzah) because the child was dragged to the showgrounds with his lower lip scraping along the floor. And even better, he came home with a substantial haul of second-hand novels and one excellent John Nicholson book on Australian housing.
I myself scavenged a few of the 1970s and 1980s kids paperbacks that I don't already have. I never think of myself as much of a collector of anything, but I think I have a fine collection of (mostly) English 1970s and 1980s children's fantasy with a focus on time slip and post-apocalyptic survivor genres. Not exclusively though. Right now I am reading The Weathermonger, which I never owned myself for some reason. I have just finished Marianne Dreams which scared me utterly senseless when I was but a lassie. It's rather more domestic than I remembered, but I can certainly understand what bothered me. I am not entirely convinced that it's a happy ending. The whole going to the sea thing reminded me a bit too much of Susan Cooper's Seaward, in which reaching the sea is a none-too-light-handed metaphor for Death Death Death. Or something.
(It's actually much older than the 1970s, but it always seemed part of the same mob to me - which is probably why I always thought it had a darker ending).
Next I am going to read The Guardians by John Christopher. It has conurbs and conspiracy theories. Champion. I left the Tripods trilogy there, though. The time has not yet come.
The husband found some serious books on Marxism. Because he's smart.