Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
HELP SAVE THE HARD TO FIND BOOKSHOP
Dear Reader, you’ve received this email because at some
point you’ve interacted with the legendary Hard To Find (But Worth the
Effort) Quality Secondhand Bookshop. We’re writing because we need your
help... but first a few lines about us...
The bookshop began as a hobby in a
garage back in 1983, a real bookstore in 1984, and found its present home
in Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand in 1988. It was founded on my passion and
obsession for books of all kinds, and I believe we have created a store with an
essence of magic, pleasure and surprise, a repository of learning, knowledge
and entertainment. The books in the shop are complemented by the store itself -
a several storey nineteenth century chaotic shambles of a timber building with
well-worn wooden stairs and original wallpaper still hanging (just) from the
walls. It is both a cultural icon and an economic anachronism with a unique
bookish atmosphere available to all incomes and tastes.
Many thousands of
customers from around the world have visited as children, supplied themselves
as students, and now bring their children to experience the piles of tumbling
books and half-hidden treasures. Hundreds more people have worked short or
long-term with us over the last 34 years and helped shape the shop as it now is.
Unfortunately we are in
crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction... which is why this
email has arrived in your inbox. The landlord hasn’t maintained the
building for the last twenty years and is now signalling a massive rent
increase, one we won’t to be able to afford. Our only hope is to try and
raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully
funded or with a viable deposit. Despite working pretty much seven days a
week I don’t own properties or have savings or bankable assets. The business
has been a labour of love which pays our wages and continues to give a great
many people of all ages pleasure, but there are no gold bars buried in the
garden (we’ve looked).
Thanks for taking the time to read
this letter. Any help you can give us is greatly appreciated. Please
do pass this email on to anyone you know who may be interested, particularly
any philanthropic millionaires or billionaires.
Regards, Warwick (the
helmsman) and the team at Hard to Find Bookshop