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I <3 bookshops

14/07/2013

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Lately I’ve been going to bookshops because I have a back-catalogue of books to buy, and also because I want to make sure they’re stocking my book. In the past couple of weeks I’ve bought Ted Dawe’s ‘Into The River’ (just for the scandal), Johanna Knox’s ‘A Forager’s Treasury‘, Elizabeth Knox’s ‘Mortal Fire‘, Jared Gulian’s ‘Moon Over Martinborough‘, and Curtis Sittenfeld’s ‘Sisterland‘. I’ve also ordered Lisa Hanawalt‘s ‘Dirty Dumb Eyes’ because it sounds really great and it’s hard to find a bookshop that stocks the kind of graphic novel I like.

Each time I’ve been in, I’ve seen a hundred other books I’d like to buy, but I’ve tried to stay focused, buying books either by people I know or ones that I’m particularly interested in. Books are expensive in New Zealand, and there’s always that temptation to order them online where they cost half as much and you don’t have to leave your house and fight the evil Auckland traffic. But then you miss out on all those wonderful bookshop encounters, either with the booksellers themselves, or with the people who inhabit bookshops. It’s sad to think that these hubs are endangered thanks to internet shopping. My brother tells me that 3,000 ASOS packages arrive in NZ every day. The government is trying to figure out a way to tax them but it’s such a difficult thing to grapple with. Internet shopping is so convenient and yet it’s such a solitary pursuit. When I was a child we used to go late night shopping on Friday nights, and we’d always go to Bennett’s Bookshop first, where my parents had an account. My parents would always bump into people they knew, and there was a super-knowledgeable children’s book buyer. That’s where I got my copy of Lace.  (not from the children’s section, mind you!)

I went and signed a bunch of books at a few lovely indie bookshops – The Women’s Bookshop, Unity and Time Out. They’re probably still there if you hurry! Oh, and if any of you have bought my book and want it signed please email me – sarahelizabethlaing@gmail.com – I’m happy to send you a book plate!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/07/2013 7:19 pm

    Books aren’t just expensive in NZ, they’re VERY expensive. Like you, I begin with the ones whose authors I want to support, then I get what I want. Then I internet buy. Then I order at the library….

    I love your book shop comic!

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      14/07/2013 7:40 pm

      I know, they are ridiculously expensive! These days I mainly save my pennies for local writers.

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