Thursday, August 21, 2008


The book trade in New Zealand has been stunned this week to learn that one of the veterans of the industry, Joan McKenzie, finished at Whitcoulls on Monday after a long and distinguished career. Before becoming a bookseller she worked in publishing, first as a sales rep for Collins Publishers and later as NZ Manager for Pan Books.
I have had no official word from Whitcoulls on the background to Joan's departure but if I hear anything further I will let you know.


John McIntyre said...

Stunning news. Joan has made a massive contribution to our book industry from a number of roles,-publishing,distribution and retail.
She also served as chair of the Board of Booksellers during interesting times in the early 90's,when chains started buying chains,and predictions of the end of the independent bookseller were rife. As a new and nervous bookseller at the time I certainly valued her sage and considered advice.
I only hope that she isn't lost to the trade for good and this only a temporary break.

John McIntyre

The Children's Bookshop

Bookbabe said...

That is a worry - I too hope Joan is going to carry on in the book trade somehow.
I was one happy employee when she hatched the idea for the wonderful Bennetts [proper] bookshops which sadly failed because of high Westfield rents.

Anonymous said...

That is a pity and will miss Joan at Whitcoulls. If you look at ARW management/exec now there's a total of about 3 months experience in the book trade, but no doubt the wisdom of MBAs and grocery chains will lead us into marvellous new world!