FROM THE EDITOR YVONNE KERR
“Should I lay down my iphone and repent, turn again to the halls of print and hold a book like a talisman once more, a reminder of how truths on paper have set me free: truths of the imagination, of science, of faith? Visit my local bookshop while it still remains and buy New Zealand made? Yes, I think so.”
If there was ever a call to duty, these words by Kiwi writer and poet Jeffrey Holman are it. And today, NZ Bookshop Day, in its third year, is your chance to leap into action, tune out extraneous noise (Hello Facebook! Hello Instagram!), extract that mobile device from tightly clasped fingers, and track down your local bookstore. Nielsen figures show that book sales are on the rise. Community bookshops too, are standing their ground; this year Unity Books in Wellington celebrates 50 years; The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie will turn 25; Paper Plus celebrates 35 years; and remarkably, on this very day, Hedley’s Booksellers in Masterton will mark its centenary.
Dozens of events are lined up nationwide to lure you through bookish doors, coaxing you to remember the pivotal role Ladybird Books or Enid Blyton played as you crawled, toddled and finally, walked; the pop-up creations your parents leafed through at bedtime; the alien sounds read aloud, helping you form your first vowel, your first word, your first sentence. My 10-month-old is fascinated by books – frowning, concentrating, raising his tiny eyebrows. He picks at the colours and shapes on each page as if to implore them to jump to life. That was all of us once. Page 8.
IT’S A GIRL!