NZ Bookshop Day 2018

Saturday 27th October is New Zealand Bookshop Day. Hurrah for the bookshop! There will be events, great deals on books and competitions too.

Events

Scorpio Books

What: Author talks and readings, as well as an evening literary quiz.
Author talk with Dr Simon Pollard at 10.30am (Simon is a spider biologist and award-winning author of The Genius of Bugs). Free event, activity sheets provided.
The Great Scorpio Lit Quiz at 6.30pm ($80 per table, bookings required).

When: Check Scorpio’s events page

Scorpio Books will also be running a campaign to encourage customers who make a purchase on NZ Bookshop Day to nominate a Christchurch school of their choice. Nominated schools will receive a copy of Aotearoa, Gavin Bishop’s multiple-award-winning, richly illustrated visual history of New Zealand. Scorpio Books will be donating 15% of their sales on the day towards this campaign. All nominated schools will also go in the draw to win a prize pack of New Zealand children’s books, specially selected by Scorpio staff. With support from RDU98.5FM.

Piccadilly Books

What: Childrens Book Reading 

When: Saturday 27 October, 11am to 11.30am, 2pm to 2.30pm

<h2>All about NZ Bookshop Day

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch [1925] CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0007
Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch [1925] CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0007

Now I love working in a library. For just under forty hours a week I am surrounded by books: what more could a bibliophile want? Books have existed in one form or another since the advent of the written word. These were the days of the clay tablet, in the 3000’s BC. And we have them in abundance (books, not clay tablets).

A History of the Book in 100 Books

So it follows that I also have a tender spot for the old bookshop. For whilst I relish bringing books home from the library, there are some that I don’t much want to take back. The library may frown upon me keeping their books indefinitely, but if I’ve really fallen for one, I simply must own my own copy. I put this down to nostalgia, wanting to show off to house guests how well read I am and financial impulsivity…I’m woman so naturally when that magical word ‘SALE’ pops up out comes the credit card. That week when Scorpio Books upped sticks and had their big moving sale was a good week for me and my bookshelf.

Thankfully we do have plenty of exceptional, local, well established bookshops here in Christchurch. They come in all sorts. Old, modern, cosy, expansive, dusty, sterile…

There are the chain bookshops (seem more like gift shops to me), the independent and specialist bookshops, and of course the beloved secondhand bookshops where you can find all manner of out-of-print, sentimental gems. I still cherish my older editions of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five; I get a lot more enjoyment from seeing them on my bookshelf than if they were sparkling and new (or, god forbid, those treacherous 21st Century-ified editions). Oh, and there’s the online bookshop too. A bottomless pit where a person like me can inexplicably lose hours of life.

Aside: There was one aforementioned chain bookshop I did very much enjoy spending time in – Borders – but we know how that turned out. I could spend hours in Borders with my dad, perusing the ancient history/mythology section. Alas.

Mythology offering: witty Stephen Fry’s latest, Mythos

Canterbury Bookshops

Here are a few of the local Canterbury bookshops – new and secondhand – where you might just find your inner peace, and something to add to your permanent collection.

Local Christchurch Bookshops

  • Scorpio Books – after residing on Riccarton Road for a while, plus a stint at the container mall, they have now settled at the BNZ Centre in the CBD. They are a friendly bunch, and if they don’t have exactly what you’re after then they seem happy enough to order it in. Scorpio Books is a place where I must always take my time. Great range!
  • UBS – University of Canterbury Bookshop. Anyone can shop here! They have a good selection of books, at surprisingly palatable prices (excluding textbooks, eek). While you are there, be sure to visit one of the University libraries. They are trialing free membership to Canterbury residents until the end of the year (and hopefully beyond).
  • Piccadilly Books – situated in Avonhead Mall, they have an impressive magazine selection and friendly staff.
  • Christian Superstore – oh boy, I might need a good dousing in holy water before stepping here. They are a large bookshop with an expansive array of Christian material. They supply churches around the country and in the Cook Islands too.

Secondhand Bookshops That are Far From Second Rate

  • Smith’s Bookshop – Their old shop was destroyed in the earthquakes but they have a new permanent home in the Tannery (a very hip place where, by the way, you may also find some amazing pastries). They stock rare books; antiquarian books; secondhand books; new books; magazines and art supplies! My kind of place. Here you will find plenty of local content and first editions. Just you try not to sneeze.
  • Dove Bookshop – in Bishopdale Mall, New Brighton Mall and Harewood Road. I have unearthed some nice pre-loved finds in here.

  • The Chertsey Bookbarn – it’s a bookshop in a barn and it’s in the middle of nowhere…well in Chertsey, just after the Rakaia River and right before you hit Ashburton. But you will not regret the petrol spent. Imagine: you arrive to find a dimly lit, relatively secluded barn. You step inside – tall shelves tower above, brimming with books- and as you move forward the narrow passage closes in and you find yourself amidst a veritable labyrinth…of books. Where was the exit again? You don’t know and don’t care. Are those footsteps you hear from behind? Is it a scene from a horror film? A dream?

My Pick of the Online Bookshops

  • The Children’s Bookshop – a smaller online bookstore with material aimed at children and young adults. There is also a handy learning resources section with books on foreign languages, te reo, language, vocabulary and maths.
  • Mighty Ape – a NZ owned online bookshop operating out of their distribution centre in Auckland, with really fast shipping (same day shipping offered to most of the major cities).
  • Bookhaven – another NZ online bookshop, selling used books. They do have a small shop in Wellington but most of their stock is contained in warehouses around the country.
  • Abebooks – but you must be patient. Sourced from somewhat further afield, your order will likely be coming from the US or UK! Abebooks searches the catalogues of independent bookshops worldwide, to find great deals. I have often found exactly what I want on here, and at good prices too. They list both new and used titles, and some shops offer free shipping. In fact this is a great place to get textbooks from, just be somewhat organised about it and don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Book Depository – an international online bookshop, with free delivery and oftentimes great discounts.

And should all else fail, your local library could probably get a copy 😉

Digital Images

Here are some photographs of Christchurch bookshops gone by, for reminiscences.

Second Hand Books, 390 Colombo Street. Kete Christchurch Colombo_Street_390.jpg
Second Hand Books, 390 Colombo Street. Kete Christchurch Colombo_Street_390.jpg
Arnold Books. Kete Christchurch New_Regent_Street_-_6_June_2006__DSCN3794.JPG
Arnold Books. Kete Christchurch New_Regent_Street_-_6_June_2006__DSCN3794.JPG
Smith’s Bookshop 127 to 139 Manchester Street. Kete Christchurch Manchester_Street_127_to_139_Corner.jpg

These images are from Kete Christchurch, our online local history resource.

Books About Bookshops

Cover

Are there any Christchurch bookshops you love that I have missed? Any online book-shopping secrets you wish to divulge? Happy NZ Bookshop Day!

For Book Collectors Old and New: WORD Christchurch 2018

Held in The Piano this was a small select audience of self-confessed book lovers, book accumulators and book collectors. The speakers were Shaun Bythell owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland (and author of novel The diary of a bookseller)and Brian Phillips who has after a long career in publishing in New Zealand now sells collectable New Zealand books.

Shaun, I’m pleased to say, was rocking a “Black Books” Dylan Moran look with a delightfully frayed sports jacket and generally casually disheveled vibe. Excellent. He modestly introduced himself as a general bookseller and someone “generally knowing not very much about everything”.

20180831_131520
The Smallest Scottish Bookshop in the World at The Piano

To warm us up we played a guess the value of some dusty old books game. With seven second hand titles from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations to James Clavell’s Shogun, and with a little Harry Potter and Hone Tuwhare thrown in, the books ranged in value from $10 to $500. I can report that everyone including Shaun Bythell got the valuations wrong showing the vagaries and conundrum of book selling and collecting. The book with the highest value turned out to be Shogun.

The conversation meandered somewhat but generally covered: how to sell your own book collections, what to keep and what to collect.

  • Brian’s advice for would-be sellers was to consider selling books with a value over $500 at auction, and lower valued stock yourselves online using Trade Me.
  • What to keep was easily answered by what you love, book collecting is about passion.
  • Finally, what to collect? Shaun praised Folio Society books for their high production standards, beautifully decorated covers and great illustrations. They are relatively inexpensive to buy but exquisite and would hold their value.
  • Brian recommended several New Zealand titles to keep an eye out for including Wash day at the Pa originally published by the Department of Education as a bulletin for schools and later withdrawn because of its unflattering picture of Maori rural life, Man Alone by John Mulgan (the 1939 English edition) and South Island of New Zealand from the Road by Robin Morrison, preferably with dust jacket intact.

There was some discussion on the added value of author signatures on books. Here Shaun took the view that an author signature only added 10% to the value of the book unless the author was very famous or very reclusive. Janet Frame was considered a good example of an author who signed relatively few books and was very collectable. Establishing the provenance of the book, and the authenticity of the signature was also something to consider, and several online sites hosting authenticated author signatures were mentioned.

Featherston got, for me, an unexpected shout-out as New Zealand’s first booktown. With an increasing number of second hand bookshops Featherston is positioning itself to join the likes of Wigtown in Scotland and Hay-on-Wye in Wales as a book buying and book event destination. Shaun visited Featherston this week and described it as “rough and ready, not too polished but worth a visit”. He hopes the book trade will help reverse the area’s economic decline.

On a less positive note Shaun described the activities of megalisters, online sellers of second hand books with more than 100,000 listings. In the UK second hand books can be bought from institutions for as little as 10 pence per kilo. These pallets of books are then processed at huge warehouses with little or no attention paid to the individual titles. Re-sold on Amazon and Abe Books these books often make more money for the supplier from the hiked up postage charges than from the value of the book itself but through economy of scale profits are made, and the sustainability of the independent secondhand bookseller made more tenuous.

20180831_131303
A slightly blurry Shaun Bythell about to meet a firing squad of librarians

Shaun also saved some scorn for librarians, and our irritating habit of covering library books with plastic covers that leak glue, tape and labels that yellow and cancellation stamps that blot endpapers, not to mention RFID tags, barcodes and all the other staff and customer created mayhem that a poor public library book endures over its short, brutal life. When challenged he did mutter something about libraries as cornerstones of democracy and bastions of learning but I might have imagined that.

A bit more Shaun and a little less Brian, affable and knowledgeable though he is, would have created a better balanced and less parochial workshop but overall this was a super interesting insight into the joys and perils of book collecting and book selling.

Find out more

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch [1925]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0007.
This store advertised itself as “The busy booksellers, stationers and printers “. Envelopes, writing paper, pen and ink were provided free. Stamps could be purchased here, as could postcards of local and New Zealand views, magazines, etc.

The business had its origins in a printing and stationery firm, founded in 1862 by J.T. Hughes which, in 1878, was purchased by Alfred Simpson and J.S. Williams. The store remained in operation until 1972, with the printing business closing in the following year.

Do you have any photographs of High Street shops? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Simpson & Williams, 238 High Street, Christchurch

Love Letter to A Bookshop : New Zealand Bookshop Day – Saturday 28 October 2017

Bookshops I have loved, lost, and looted : a confession.

Write a love letter to your favourite bookshop – Dear Diary. I can’t send this to a Bookshop; I’m cheating on all of them! I have no control over myself. Wherever I go, I have to see the local bookshop. Where did it all start?

My first love was the Scholastic Book Club. Remember Lucky Books? Making my choices carefully from the brochure, I paid for them with my pocket money. I was so excited to see that pile of new books on my desk! I drove my family nuts with this one: Boo!

W. Carthew Bookseller And Stationer, Feilding Public Library, PHOTO_FDG_BUS_sh31.jpg

When I was a kid, Carthew’s Bookshop in Feilding was my door into the imagined world. They had the Beano… Carthew’s is no longer there, but the building remains.

Hopwoods Mitre 10 and Bennett’s bookshop, Broadway, Matt Ryan, 1988, Manawatu Heritage 2008P_Z5184_BUI_0970

Teen angst took me to Bennett’s bookshop in Palmerston North. The city store in Broadway, now Whitcoulls, had an impressive staircase. You could hide away in the quiet of the loft floor, which always had sale tables. Sale tables! Woo!

Bennetts University Bookshop at Massey Tiritea Campus was the place to get my set texts for English. This bookshop always had lots of neat little extras to look at and buy, like the Little Book of Calm. I’ve kept almost all of my Uni books…

Unity Books at the end of Lambton Quay was my Dad’s favourite bookshop. A treasure trove. Dad ordered a lot of books from there. I shared his love of David Attenborough, Jacques Cousteau and studied religion; making a beeline from the Beehive to visit whenever in Welly.

Moving back to the Manawatu for a bit I flirted with Poppies Bookshop in Feilding and had a co-dependent relationship with Bruce McKenzie Booksellers in Palmerston North. Nestled under Palmerston North City Library in George Street, Bruce McKenzie’s stock popular, classic authors, art and wonderful children’s books. Bruce supports local authors too, and hosts events! Glass of wine, anyone?

Since moving to Christchurch I’ve forged a relationship with Scorpio Books and I’m having an online affair with Book Depository.

I love to go to writers’ events. I’m like a moth to a flame. Scorpio are great supporters of literary events such as National Poetry Dayl. Btw they’re hosting the The Great Lit Quiz & Ngaio Marsh Awards on NZ Bookshop Day.

Book Depository sell both new and used books online. And they don’t charge postage! A match made in heaven for a book addict.

Last but not least is the thing I have for second hand books. I like nothing better than a good rummage for a bargain. What if I found someone I could treasure?! Whether its the Cat’s Protection League, the Hospice Shop, the Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul, you’ll find me in the book section looking for Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, or that Mary Poppins I just can’t find for my collection.

Old flames back home are Trash and Treasures, who used to be in Rangitikei Street, and Star Bookshop in Cuba Street, Palmerston North.

Here in Christchurch I’ve discovered a comforting nest of rare jewels at Smiths, The Tannery Bookshop.

One of the books I treasure most is an old cancelled library copy of Witi Ihimaera ‘s Tangi. I can still see the pleasure on Witi’s face when he signed it for me at an author event in Palmy:

“My first book!” he exclaimed.

Dear bookshops, don’t ever change! I love that you take me as I am, and don’t judge me by my cover.

Lots of love,
A constant reader.

PS: Thanks to my love for you I’ve carted eight bookshelves worth of books with me all over New Zealand. My dream is to buy a bus and never pack up those books again.

Write a love letter to your favourite bookshop


Tomorrow Saturday 28 October is NZ Bookshop Day. Find out more:

Get thee to a bookshop for NZ Bookshop Day – Saturday 29 October

NZ Bookshop DayThis Saturday 29 October your mission is to visit your local bookshop. Choose to accept it!

It is the second official NZ Bookshop Day – a celebration to get booklovers pulses racing. Booksellers New Zealand are doing some cool competitions to get you into the NZ Bookshop Day spirit. Win $500 worth of NZ book tokens by sharing the bookshop love: Get a postcard from a participating bookshop, fill it out and hand it back, tell the bookshop just why you love it. And win book prizes on the NZ Bookshop Day Facebook page, and Booksellers NZ Twitter #nzbookshopday in the lead up to NZ Bookshop Day.

Here’s my NZ Bookshop Day to-do list (it’s a trifle ambitious but that’s a tribute to how much excellent stuff is on!):

  • Buy copies of Annual by Gecko Press for Christmas presents for the kids in my life.
  • Take part in Scorpio Books Lit Quiz (fingers crossed for a respectable showing).
  • Get the kid along to a Children’s illustration workshop to hone her My Little Pony and Powerpuff Girls drawing skills.
  • Hear Mr Yipadee in action at South City Paper Plus.
  • And of course enter all the comps with the goal of winning books and/or book tokens.

Christchurch events and competitions for NZ Bookshop Day

nzbookshop

Here are some of the competitions and Christchurch events as listed on the Booksellers NZ website:

Scorpio Books

Favourite book photo competition
Take a photo of your favourite book in an inspired location, post it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #scorpiobooks and #nzbookshopday to win a $200 Scorpio Books voucher. Entries close on 31 October, winner announced 5 November.

12 favourite books for only $12 each on NZ Bookshop Day
Scorpio staff have gathered together 12 of their favourite books and for a special deal on NZ Bookshop Day, they will be $12 each. In store only. While stocks last.

Books in Schools
Make a purchase at Scorpio Books on NZ Bookshop Day and choose a Christchurch school to receive 15% of your purchase to spend on books of their choice!

Children’s Illustration Workshop – Scorpio Books, 120 Hereford Street
A free workshop on Children’s Illustration with Lynne McAra, the illustrator of Toby Goes To Grandma’s and Toby Goes Cycling. 2:30pm – 4pm. Suitable for ages 6 – 12. Limited spaces available, to book a space email: rachel@scorpiobooks.co.nz

Scorpio Lit Quiz – Scorpio Books, 120 Hereford Street
Hosted by Joe Bennett. Bring a team of up to 5 people to test your literary knowledge. $60 per table. 7pm. Spot prizes, drinks and nibbles provided. Limited spaces available. Purchase your table from Hereford St or phone 377 8462.

Readings from our Favourite Books – Scorpio Books, 113 Riccarton Road
Local authors share and read from their favourite books, in conversation with Chris Moore.
Browse and listen to all time favourite stories. 10am-4pm

The Original Children’s Bookshop Christchurch

Join illustrators Jenny Cooper and Helen Taylor instore between 11.00 and 1.00. Storytelling with Zac McCallum at 2.30pm. Spot prizes for the best costumes, download colouring competitions from the website.

Piccadilly Books

10am. Book signing and information session with Amanda Tiffen and Leigh Brown with their books A Life less Sugar and A Life Less Sugar Recipes.

Paper Plus

Mr Yipadee, a best-selling Kiwi children’s musician and author, making it big in the UK. His songs have messages of positivity and FUN and children LOVE him. He is coming home to help promote his new book Jingle Bells, Rudolph Smells, and will be singing a few songs and signing books. He will appear at the following Paper Plus stores:

All about NZ Bookshop Day

Photo Hunt October: Arnold Books, 11 New Regent St, 2006

Arnold Books - 11 New Regent Street - 6 June 2006.
Kete Christchurch New_Regent_Street_-_6_June_2006__DSCN3794 CC-BY_NC_SA 3.0NZ

Arnold Books formerly occupied Shop No. 11 in New Regent St.

29 October is New Zealand Bookshop Day.

Find more bookshop photos in Kete Christchurch

Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008.  The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.

Enter the 2016 hunt online or at your local library.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch & Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Wrapped up in bookshops – NZ Bookshop Day Saturday 31 October

Tell you what book launch, Scorpio BooksSaturday 31 October is the inaugual NZ Bookshop Day. Pay a visit to a local favourite, or try someplace new.

Here’s a grab-bag of my Christchurch bookshop hangouts (do tell about your faves in the comments):

then

  • East’s Bookshop – perfectly centrally located for a browse,  saw Jasper Fforde talk there.
  • Smith’s Bookshop on Manchester Street – a cornucopia of books, you could lose yourself for hours in its rambling bookwilderness.
  • Scorpio – like a platter of temptation. (bought a book about typography called Just my Type)
  • Book city – by the IRD. I used to go there a lot with my Dad on work lunchtime rambles. The books are still in there if you peer in. (bought a book about Bronzino)
  • That shop by South City that had loads of Taschen books. (Pierre et Gilles)
  • The Children’s Bookshop – when I was a new Mum, me and my wee girl were always hanging out on Victoria Street. (Mouk)

now

  • Scorpio Books, still. The bijoux one in the Re: START, with an occasional foray to Riccarton for the big brother shop. (Bought books by Morrissey, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker  etc)
  • IMG_8596Best books – a pop up book store, a fab part of the new Christchurch. (as pictured)
  • The new Smith’s Bookshop at the Tannery in Woolston. (bought High noon for coaches)
  • Edgeware Paperback Centre. Shelves everywhere, heaving with books. (Bought Gwenda Turner ABC and a Raymond Briggs book)
  • University Bookshop – oh boy, not just for students. (bought a little book about bookshops)
  • Comics Compulsion in Papanui – a regular visit now is part of our lives. Comics rule! (Bob the Burger and My Little Pony comics)

To all the bookshops – and the people who make you tick and hum – you are the goodies. Love your work.

IMG_6016 Tell you what book launch, Scorpio Books

More about NZ Bookshop Day

What’s on in Christchurch

There’s a Snap me reading photo competition and an All Good: A New Zealand Colouring Competition.

Booksellers list of what’s on – here’s the Christchurch events:

Piccadilly Books – Celebrate your bookshop with your children! Bring the children in-store at 11m for a playful interactive storytelling show with Kirsty Collett, author of Fly Story Fly and while your young ones are being amused there is something for the Mums and Dads happening at the same time, internationally acclaimed postnatal educator, author, director and practitioner of BabyCues, Philippa Murphy will be in-store to chat to parents and sign copies of her book.

The Original Children’s Bookshop Christchurch
It’s Halloween, so dress up!  Spot prizes for the best costume, colouring competitions for all ages – win books, gift vouchers, Book Tokens and a Hugless Douglas toy and slippers.  Local illustrator Jenny Cooper will be instore from 11.00am – 2.00 pm and Helen Taylor will join her at noon and be here until 3.00pm.  At 2.30pm community librarian Zac McCallum will be here for story telling.

University Bookshop Canterbury  – Banned Book Quiz – Test your knowledge and be into Win!In celebration of NZ Bookshop Day UBS is running a banned/challenged book quiz. Penguin Random House, Walker Books, Hachette, HarperCollins and Nationwide Books have all kindly donated items for their awesome gift pack. Come in and give it a try! The winner will be announced on the 2nd of November.

Paper Plus Northlands – Conversation Couch & Speed Dating
Paul Cleave and Joe Bennett will be taking pride of place on a “conversation couch” at the front of the store where customers can join them for a beer/wine to discuss their books, or any other book/topic of their choosing. Kind of like speed dating with a famous author…

Scorpio Books – Meet with Local Authors and Poets
Patrick Evans, Being Eaten Alive, Making It and Gifted will be instore in the morning and over lunchtime meet Fiona Farrell, The Broken Book, The Quake Year and The Villa at the Edge of the Empire and during the afternoon meet with poets Jeffrey Paparoa Holman and Frankie McMillan. Enter the Colouring In competition and visit the store to be in to “Win Your Height In Books”.

Not in Kansas Now

CoverStumbling out on to Queen Street in a daze of shopping signs and people I’m joining Roberta in that small town feeling.

I visited the Women’s Bookshop which is a lovely example of how important the selection of books is to making a good shop. It’s very small and plain style wise but great stock. They’re publicising the Fifty Fifty Women at the moment. A little further down the road and I’m at Cook the Books. Great name and lovely looking shop but I was a little disappointed. The latest cookbooks were lovingly displayed but there weren’t all those wonderful cookbooks that have been published over the years. I think Books for Cooks in Melbourne has spoilt me, not to mention the fabulous selection of cooking books and food writing at Christchurch City Libraries. Still the shop assistants were talking to punters about recipes they had tried from different books.

Now I’m back in my room reflecting on “travel broadens the mind”.  Air New Zealand is supporting New Zealand Music Month and their Kia Ora magazine is highlighting that plus it had some lovely cheese recipes from Martin Bosley. I can also tell you that making a naked (body painted)  in flight safety video with Gin Wigmore on the soundtrack certainly gets the punters attention.