Few retailers can boast more loyal and passionate repeat customers than independent bookstores. There’s just something about bookstores that inspires a sense of community. This week, bookstores are set to celebrate their place in New Zealand shoppers’ hearts on NZ Bookshop Day, Saturday October 28.
“Nielsen figures show that book sales are on the rise,” says Booksellers NZ chief executive Lincoln Gould. “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 last two months, Gould says, Wellington’s The Children’s Bookshop and Unity Books celebrated 25 years and 50 years in business, respectively. Paper Plus celebrated 35 years earlier in the year, and Hedley’s Booksellers in Masterton is celebrating an astonishing 110 years with 11 percent off books on NZ Bookshop Day.
Gould says bookshops are “looking nervously towards Australia” as Amazon prepares to launch there, saying it’s more important than ever for shoppers to remember what they love about their local bookshop.
Booksellers NZ emphasised this perspective in a recent campaign, the Love Letter to your Bookshop competition. This is being repeated for 2017, with early entries in already.
As well as discounts and deals, NZ Bookshop Day offers a packed calendar of in-store events:
- 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 five.
- 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.