Beloved Hard to Find book store faces closure
A popular Auckland bookshop which has served up worlds of imagination to young and old for more than 30 years is facing a crisis.
The Hard To Find Bookshop, located in Onehunga, is facing closure as its landlord threatens to increase rent, despite the walls of the historic building it is located in nearly toppling down.
Heartbroken shop owner Warwick Jordan said he did not have the money to cover the rise in rent.
‘‘I love the place, it breaks my heart it’s in the state it is,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t own a home, I don’t own anything - I just own books.
‘‘It’s really an anachronism that shouldn’t exist, but we love what we do. This is who I am.’’
Jordan said he hated asking for charity, and over the years people had tried to give him books, but he’d always insisted on paying them for it.
But to try to cover the costs, Jordan put a call out on crowdfunding website Givealittle, hoping book lovers would dig deep.
‘‘Now here I am holding out a tin cup. It’s really embarrassing.’’
He hopes to either raise enough money to make an offer on the shop or, if that’s not possible, cover the extra rent until he finds another solution.
Jordan started collecting books in 1983 in the back of his garage. He owns about half a million.
His dream came to fruition in 1984 when he founded his first bookshop. Four years later, it nestled itself into the 19th century building on The Mall in Onehunga.
‘‘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,’’ he wrote on the Givealittle page.
‘‘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.’’
Over the last 30 years he’s purchased books from the likes of Robert Muldoon, David Lange, Edmund Hillary and the estate of Peter Blake.
‘‘I don't own a home, I don't own anything - I just own books.’’
Hard to Find Second Hand Bookshop manager Shalon Ewington has worked at the store for more than 25 years.