We were delighted to see Tauranga's long-serving independent bookshop, Books A Plenty, win $1000 off their next Nielsen Book Scan subscription thanks to the love letter their customer Marcus Hobson wrote them. We thought we'd have a chat with owners Chris and Warren Baskett off the back of this and see what they love about bookselling, and what it is they do that's different.
“We’ve had a perfect summer in Wanaka from November until mid May,” says Paper Plus Wanaka manager Chris Lumsden. But that doesn’t make him a happy bookshop operator in this tourist town. “The weather makes an impact – when it is sunny they are all out there doing things, we get better business on rainy days!”
The Booklover came first, bravely purchased by at-the-time Random House’s publishing director Tom Beran and his partner Helen Drummond eight years ago in Takapuna’s main shopping street – the intention was for Helen to run the new venture but Tom was persuaded to be more hands-on within the first year.
We’ve all heard about Christchurch fashion stores and other city shops displaced by earthquakes having temporary mini premises in container blocks in Cashel Street, near the re-opened Ballantynes department store.
Almo’s Books in Carterton is not quite one year old, opening last December. It is set up with “a homely New York loft” ambiance – industrial look shelves, modern couch, informality – and a stock selection that is strong in non-fiction and books for children.
One of a kind booksellers are often the gems in our industry and Otatara Bookshop is one of those with a very special character. It has had a variety of “homes” around the Eastern Institute of Technology, and a very prominent one for the past 14 years, situated in a building off the roundabout as you enter the campus.
When Rodger Grant and sons Simon and James (pictured on the homepage) picked up Paper Plus Merivale’s award for national book sales at the group’s awards in August, three people seemed like a pretty hefty management team for one store.
When a small bookshop in Cuba Street became available in 1988, accountant Robert Burch “took the plunge”, and launched his new career He changed the name to Arty Bee’s Bookshop and six months later purchased a second shop in Cambridge Terrace. Both shops have relocated several times over the last 22 years, in each case to larger or better locations.
Time Out began 23 years ago in Auckland’s Mount Eden shopping strip with a conscious attempt to be different. One of the first boutique bookstores, it also sold music and kept daringly late hours. And the best thing is, little has changed!