In the Unity stores, men are out-buying women, non-fiction is flying out the door and hardbacks are selling well.
"Our customer base is 60-40 men to women, which is against the trend. I'm of the belief that the male market isn't really being catered for," McColl says. Men are essentially buying non-fiction, but more biography than the self-help genre.
Sales at Unity's Auckland store are on a par with last year, but Wellington is already "well up" on what were improved sales in 2008.
"Writing has never been so exciting," says McColl. "The store is full of books from all around the world; where 20 years ago we could hardly push an Australian novel down people's throats, that's definitely changed. New Zealand books have never been better either."
"This time we've been a bit more wary about taking really large numbers of books. But we've kept the attitude of carrying on as normal."
With many of its suppliers retrenching to Australia, Unity has benefited from new sale-or-return agreements.
"I think we have the best staff we have ever had; we all love books," she says.