Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christchurch and Auckland Booksellers win Kobo Scholarship to America

The first Kobo Booksellers NZ Scholars to attend the American Booksellers Association annual Winter Institute (Wi9) are Jenna Todd of Time Out Bookstore, Auckland and Jared Raines of Paper Plus Northlands in Christchurch.

They were chosen from applications from all over New Zealand by a panel which included representatives of the Embassy of the United States, Kobo and Booksellers New Zealand.
The scholarship will see the two kiwis attending Wi9 in Seattle, Washington state, in January next year.

“I am so excited,” said Jenna (right)  when told the news. “It’s really an honour for Time Out as a small indie bookshop to be able to represent New Zealand bookselling in America and I am positive that I will be able to bring back all sorts of new information for our store and for booksellers generally.” Jenna is the manager of Time Out Bookstore in Auckland, where she has worked for 3.5 years.

Jared, a second-generation bookseller, was “over the moon” when told.  “This is a huge opportunity and I am very grateful.” Jared (left)  is the manager of his store in Christchurch, which won the Booksellers Regional Store of the Year South Island in 2013.

Chair of Booksellers NZ, Mary Sangster said it was very exciting to see the calibre of younger booksellers applying for the scholarships.
“All were committed to bookselling and the two successful candidates also showed a considerable grasp of the opportunities and challenges of bookselling for the future.  I am sure that they will learn a lot from the experience in the United States which they will be able to bring back to New Zealand,” said Mary.

“The ability for booksellers to expand their ability to connect with consumers through eBooks is incredibly exciting,” said Stephanie Ogden, Managing Director, Australia/New Zealand, South East Asia, South Africa, Kobo. “We are thrilled to be able to sponsor Jared and Jenna and look forward to the experiences and knowledge they will bring back and share with other booksellers.”  

The two scholars will not only attend the four day Wi9 but will also have the opportunity to spend time in bookshops in Seattle.

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