Tote-ally awesome: NZ Bookshop Day Saturday 7 October 2023

Saturday 7 October is NZ Bookshop Day. This annual event has been going since 2015, and is a chance to celebrate your local booksellers. What's happening in 2023? Some local bookshops will have the Booksellers Aotearoa NZ limited-edition tote bag with amazing artwork from Xoë Hall for sale and the slogan "Books are my bag". Ōtautahi people will recognise the name as the artist who painted Kūini of the worlds on the bunker outside the Art Gallery. Xoë has great booky credentials as the artist who did the covers of Tayi Tibble's books.  YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU I WANT ONE. (have a peek at it). 

Telling Tales will have a fun in-store scavenger hunt, find a new favourite read with a lucky dip $10 book* and any purchase made on Bookshop Day puts you into the draw to win a bundle of books. Scorpio Books will also have lucky dip books for only $15 (while stocks last). 

Head along to your local bookshop, have a look, and maybe go home with a book or five. 

To celebrate NZ Bookshop Day, I've compiled some images of local bookshops in Canterbury Stories

Back in the inaugural NZ Bookshop Day in 2015, I wrote about my favourite haunts: 

In the olden days

  • East's Bookshop - perfectly centrally located for a browse. I saw Jasper Fforde talk there.
  • Smith's Bookshop on Manchester Street - a cornucopia of books, you could lose yourself for hours in its rambling bookwilderness.
  • Scorpio Books - always a platter of temptation. The last thing I bought there in its Hereford Street location was in February 2011 - a book about typography called Just my Type)
  • Book city - by the IRD. I used to go there a lot with my Dad on work lunchtime rambles. The books are still in there if you peer in (last time I looked). I remember buying a book about Bronzino.
  • That shop by South City that had loads of Taschen books.  I bought a book of Pierre et Gilles photographs. 
  • The Children's Bookshop - when I was a new Mum, me and my wee girl were always hanging out on Victoria Street. I bought a big colourful picture book called Mouk.
  • Comics Compulsion on Manchester Street. As immortalised in Sam Zabel and the magic pen by Dylan Horrocks. 
  • Borders. Was it in Riccarton? Someone bought me a great present from here - the big purple slip cased edition Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie.


Where I was bookshopping on the first NZ Bookshop Day:

  • Scorpio Books mostly the bijoux one in the Re: START, with an occasional foray to Riccarton for the big brother shop. I bought books by Morrissey, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker etc. 
  • Best books - a pop up book store, a fab part of the new Christchurch. 
  • The new Smith's Bookshop at the Tannery in Woolston. (bought High noon for coaches)
  • Edgeware Paperback Centre. Shelves everywhere, heaving with books. Got a Gwenda Turner ABC and a Raymond Briggs book.
  • University Bookshop - oh boy, not just for students. I bought a little book about bookshops.
  • Visited Comics Compulsion in Papanui and got comics like Bob's Burgers and My Little Pony.

Some fave places to go in 2023

  • I am still a Scorpio girl (last purchase was Suetonius's Twelve Caesars because Mary Beard's book about the Caesars in art piqued my curiosity). Now it's in the BNZ Centre, and has companion stores nearby - Telling tales and a travel book shop.
  • Kings Books and Stamps on Warrington Street. A great selection of New Zealand books and sci fi (comics and LPs too).
  • The gorgeous caravan Custard Square bookshop, often parked up at the Christchurch Arts Centre. 
  • Opshops. A happy hunting ground for books. My most recent find was a Penguin copy of Dracula
  • Still a fan of Reverie Booksellers in Edgeware - FKA The Edgeware Paperback Centre.
  • The wonderful corner of Ferry Road where you can find two unique shops. Steadfast Books has a beautiful and interesting selection of books. Last thing I bought there was a copy of Where the wind blows by Raymond Briggs. Next door is the slightly more chaotic Book Barn on Ferry, the local outpost of the legendary Chertsey Book Barn

Kia ora Christchurch bookshops - and the wonderful people who work there. Love your mahi!

 Librarians love bookshops