Thursday, April 12, 2007


Paul Reynolds seems to have been around the Auckland book and media scene for many years. I remember him as a book reviewer for the Sunday Star Times, The Strip and National Radio. I also recall him covering for Murray Gray on his days off at that gorgeous little Parnell bookshop started by the late Adrienne Jarvis, Under Silkwood; alas both the shop and its owner have passed on.

I caught up with Paul earlier this week and learned that these days he runs McGovern Design with his business and personal partner Helen Smith. As an aside Helen hails originally from Napier where she tells me I sold her her first book way back in my Beattie & Forbes Bookshop days.

Of course Paul is a blogger too and I read his postings to keep right up to date with what is happening out there in the techno world.

Paul is that Scotsman you used to hear talking with Kim Hill about the Internet when it was still all a bit of a mystery to most of us and certainly long, long before it was being used by everyone every day. These days I notice he pops up occasionally on Breakfast TV.

He tells me he got into the web space over 12 years ago; in those days he was freelance writing and editing and was also a reader for several NZ publishers including Penguin Books and Tandem Press, as well as writing doco scripts and reviewing books.

He originally got curious about the web as a publishing phenomena. Curious about it he and co-writer David Merritt pitched a book idea to Geoff Walker at Penguin Books. He accepted and “Internet-A New Zealand Guide” went on to sell 10,000 copies. Paul tells me that he and Helen still own the comfy sofa they bought with the royalties!

From there he wrote a column for The Dominion for 10 years on what he calls “this Internet thing,” as well as starting, with Helen, their own web development shop.

Since then they have built sites for legal firms, libraries, art galleries, government departments, the Waitangi Tribunal, Katherine Mansfield House, the Chartwell Collection , the Colin McCahon House and many others.

Both Paul and Helen are passionate readers, book buyers and library users, and as a consequence say they are very happy to sponsor the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival web site, which they see as being a gift to themselves.

This is fine site, designed by Helen and Paul and their small but talented team, and a most generous sponsorship indeed,(my guess is that it has to be worth close to $20,000), they supply all the management tools as well, so on behalf of readers everywhere, and Festival goers in particular, I salute Paul and Helen and Mc Govern Design and extend heartfelt gratitude.

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