Beloved Hard to Find book store faces clo­sure

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - DANI MCDON­ALD

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.’’

JOE DAW­SON/STUFF

Hard to Find Sec­ond Hand Book­shop man­ager Shalon Ewing­ton has worked at the store for more than 25 years.

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