Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Storytelling and bookshop love to pull the punters nationwide on NZ Bookshop Day

'Bookshops are gateways to a thousand other worlds, ten thousand imaginations and a million possibilities,’ wrote Marcus Hobson in his winning Love Letter to your Bookshop entry last year.
Discover these worlds at your community bookshop this NZ Bookshop Day, no matter where you are in New Zealand on Saturday 28 October. Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould says,

‘Nielsen figures show that book sales are on the rise. This year the growth is being driven by factors that aren’t flashes-in-the-pan: the essential place of the bookshop as centre of the community, and the loyalty of bookshop-lovers.
‘In the past two months, we have seen first The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie celebrate 25 years in business; then Unity Books in Wellington celebrate 50 years. The Paper Plus chain celebrated 35 years earlier this year. And even more remarkably on Bookshop Day itself, Hedley’s Booksellers in Masterton is celebrating 110 years with 11% off books.’

This longevity speaks volumes as bookshops look nervously towards Australia, where Amazon is setting up shop. It is more important than ever to remember what you love about your local bookshop, and why it is you need it in your life.
The Love Letter to your Bookshop competition attracted over 500 entries last year, and bookshops are reporting some amazing love-letters already this year. We also invited NZ authors to submit love letters to their own bookshops.

The Women’s Bookshop offers engagement with ideas to Dame Fiona Kidman:
‘You emerged out of the time of great upheavals and change in women’s lives, the times when we took to the streets to protest inequality, the times when we demanded freedom to express ourselves with out censorship, the times when we came together with a common voice. Those were stirring times. But the dreams we had for the future survive. In The Women’s Bookshop, our voices live.’
Unity Books in Wellington offers a friendly space to Renée:
It’s like I’m walking into a friend’s place except I can wander around, pick up books off the shelf or a table, and even sit down and read them because you provide chairs.'

University Bookshop Canterbury inspired Dr. Hilary Low to talk about her nephews’ impressions of the range: ‘When they walked through the bookshop door they thought they'd arrived in paradise. Here were books – beautiful new books, from floor to ceiling on every subject imaginable.’
There are dozens of events lined up for the Day, with highlights including:

-          Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden hosts Howl-o-ween – in store treats, staff dress-ups and bring your pup in for Wolfy goody bags (dog costumes encouraged.) The winners of the review competition will also be announced.

-          Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop in Ponsonby has two fabulous author events: meet Nevermoor author Jessica Townsend at 11.00am, and Kat Merewether is launching her new Kuwi books from 2.00pm.
-          Wardini Books in Napier will host children’s author Donovan Bixley, who is live-drawing from 11.30am. They will also host Charity Norman during the day.

-          Vic Books in Kelburn, Wellington will be turned into a children’s theatre from 11am, featuring a very special fairy tale being acted out by PlayShop, storytelling with Baz MacDonald, and Disney songs sung by Kapitall Kids Theatre.
-          Volume Books in Nelson will be ‘Reading the Booker’ from 2pm, then launching Casual Shorts from 2.45pm, followed by their draw of ‘Bookstore Bingo’

-          Scorpio Books in Christchurch hosts The Ngaio Marsh Awards and The Great Lit Quiz, at Scorpio Bookshop in Christchurch. The awards start at 5.30pm. Put together a team of book-enthusiasts for a quiz of crime novels and other genres! Cost is $80 for a table of 5.
-          University Book Shop Otago has turned pirate and locked up some authors! Get your little ones into pirate disguise and find pirate cupcakes, gold doubloons and more this NZ Bookshop Day.  

As well as events, you will find discounts and book deals in your local bookshops. While Paper Plus has 25% off all books for the day, many indies have hand-picked their specials. Scorpio Bookshop in Christchurch for instance, will be selling their favourite HarperCollins books for only $10 each to celebrate 200 years of HC.
As poet Jeffrey Holman says: ‘Should I lay down my iPhone and repent, turn again to the halls of print and hold a book like a talisman once more, a reminder of how truths on paper have set me free: truths of the imagination, of science, of faith? Visit my local bookshop while it still remains and buy New Zealand made? Yes, I think so.’

So grab your friends and family and visit your local bookshop this NZ Bookshop Day. 

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