NZ Bookshops are Thriving, not just Surviving

Published: Tue 27 Oct 2015 11:41 AM
NZ Bookshops are Thriving, not just Surviving
Celebrate our bookshops on NZ Bookshop Day on Saturday, 31 October
A new wave of optimism among New Zealand’s booksellers underpins the inaugural NZ Bookshop Day – Your Place, Your Bookshop being held in 180 book stores nationwide all day on Saturday, 31 October.
“The last few years have been tough for the book trade, but book sales are rising again and there’s a positive outlook amongst booksellers. We’re definitely thriving, rather than just surviving,” says Booksellers NZ Chair, Mary Sangster.
“Booksellers were very pleased when Nielsen Data reported that, for the year to 3 October 2015, there’s been a 9.3% growth in New Zealand book sales’ volume, with a 3.7% growth in value. This is not just a New Zealand phenomenon; in the UK book sales are also up. Figures released by the UK’s Nielsen Bookscan show sales of print books, for the first 36 weeks of 2015, rose by 4.6% (worth £739.5m) when compared with the same period last year.
“It’s magnificently timely then that we’re holding NZ Bookshop Day this coming Saturday. The Day celebrates the unique place bookshops have in New Zealand life and their place in our communities. More than almost any other retail store, bookshops truly reflect the literary passions and personal styles of their owners. This inaugural NZ Bookshop Day is abrim with authors reading in bookshop windows, dress up events, quirky quizzes and competitions and -– did we mention - the horse-in-a-bookshop? With so many fun and interesting events planned for 31 October, we know Kiwis of all ages will get out and enjoy what their local bookshops have to offer,” adds Mary.
Three nationwide competitions are running for NZ Bookshop Day. Fuelled by the international craze for colouring, Kiwi enthusiasts can download a colouring sheet from Booksellers NZ’s website to win not only a local prize but also have a chance to become NZ Colouring Champion, and win $500 in Book Tokens. There’s also a ‘Snap Me Reading’ photo competition - top entries could see you ‘Win Your Height In Books’. Book enthusiasts will enjoy pitting their wits with an online quiz – if you can answer seven questions out of 15, your name goes into the draw to win a stack of new books, as well as several Hobbit–themed books signed by Sir Peter Jackson.
Wanaka’s Paper Plus will host a man and a horse. Yes, you read this correctly. Local chef and author of Game Chef, Angelo Georgalli, will be signing copies of his book. As well, there will be a Shetland pony inside the shop for visitors’ petting delight. “We just thought we’d do something out of the ordinary for NZ Bookshop Day, something you don’t see every day, something to draw in the kids,” says Spud, the shop’s events coordinator. “We’re putting up a display of horsey books around the pen, as well as having a few shovels around in case of accidents!”
Meanwhile at Auckland’s Time Out Bookshop in Mt Eden, Ted Dawe will become an honorary staff member and serve behind the counter. He will now even be able to sell Into the River thanks to the decision made in mid-October by the Film & Literature Board of Review. Time Out will also have an all-day scavenger hunt that will have the whole family scanning the shelves, and a children’s party from 1pmonwards.
On the topic of (formerly) banned books, the University of Canterbury’s bookshop in Ilam will host a week-long ‘Banned Books Quiz’ in its shop, with the winner announced late on 2 November.
Aficionados of mid-century design can head to Wellington’s Millwood Gallery to meet Bronwyn Labrum, author of newly published Real Modern: Everyday New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s. They can also bring in their own mid-century domestic pieces to be evaluated byKatrina Dormer, formerly of Thorndon antique shop ‘Strangely Familiar’.
Domesticity also reigns supreme at Tauranga’s Books A Plenty with ‘Read-in and Eat-in’ with writers from the Tauranga Writers Group. Sitting in a comfy chair with a book and nibbles to hand is a great way to buy a book! Books A Plenty will also be running the bookshop for the Tauranga Arts Festival literary programme.
Book lover, author, NZ Bookshop Day Ambassador and Kiwi extraordinaire, Sir Bob Harvey is hugely enthusiastic about bookshops. “All my life I’ve loved bookshops. Good bookshops are gems, they’re such a treasure for us all. Making friends with bookshop staff means they know what you like, the authors you enjoy and they challenge you to read new works – and I always end up loving those too, and I learn so much! I challenge all Kiwis to get out on Saturday to enjoy their local bookshop events,” he says.
Mary Sangster concludes, “This first-ever NZ Bookshop Day on Saturday is looking to be a cracker. We encourage all Kiwis to go out and support their local bookshops. Our booksellers have certainly dug deep to create some fun events that will suit readers of all ages. We want every Kiwi to enjoy the day and make the most of their local bookshops.”
NZ Bookshop Day – Your Place, Your Bookshop – will be celebrated throughout the day on Saturday, 31 October in 180 bookshops all over New Zealand. For more information, go to:

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