Bookshops are back. Buy Books. Buy NZ Books. And buy from your local
From Matakana to Pukekohe – from Arcadia to Unity – our city’s 83 bookshops have roared back to life. Under Level 3 they're trading again, via click and collect, post, courier, even hand delivery. Please support our local purveyors of portable magic.
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The second thing you need to do after leaving lockdown (once you've finished that healthy, organic, wholegrain… high-carb, salt-saturated burger!) is to buy a book. Buy New Zealand books! Especially buy the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalists’ books!
And support your local. The most excellent Newsroom website has a list of all Aotearoa's bookshops, filched from the Coalition for Books collective. But this was a frustratingly incomplete list. "The Coalition failed to check whether each and every bookstore will in fact be operating in alert Level 3," writes Steve Braunias, "so I sought clarification from Dan Slevin at Booksellers NZ."
“Not all booksellers will be able to offer all services," Dan Slevin clarified. "But we haven’t heard from anyone who won’t be trading in some fashion. Even if a store doesn’t have a website you can order from (very few now) they will take phone orders, and if they don’t feel like they can do click and collect because of the store setup, they will post/courier/hand deliver."
But even the most excellent Newsroom website is not infallible. Its list is missing some of Auckland's best bookshops, particularly beloved second-hand institutions like Hard to Find, Jasons and Dominion Books. With the caveat that no list can be perfect, here's Ockham's attempt at a comprehensive compendium of every bookshop on the isthmus. Short take: they're all ace in their own way and they all need your patronage.
And we need them. "Bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper," said English writer, Jen Campbell. "They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.”
📚 Thanks to Dr Google's Sauron-like eye we think we've got everyone. But if we've inadvertently left you out... sorry! And please get in touch.
📚 Who's that in the lovely photo you ask? 'tis the Women's Bookshop's legendary potentate, Carole Beu, alongside the auntie of all Aotearoa).
👉 While we have your attention... the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards will stream live here - and on #theockhams YouTube channel - from 6pm on Tue 12 May. Subscribe now! bit.ly/ONZBA-YouTube.
Where: 26 Osborne Street, Newmarket.
Phone: 09 522 5211.
Interwebs: Arcadia's website and FB page.
The word: "Tucked into Osborne St in Newmarket, Arcadia Books has a brilliantly curated selection of everything. Owner Doris Mousdale is a fountain of knowledge, and exactly what you imagine a bookstore owner should be like."
Where: 157a Symonds St, Newton.
Phone: 09 369 1414.
Interwebs: Website. FB. 📧
The word: "Ariel Books stocks out of print books with an emphasis on books for the inquiring mind including the arts, architecture, history and philosophy."
Where: Auckland Central (online only)
Phone: 09 365 2223.
Interwebs: Website. FB. Insta. 📧 .
The word: "Beatnik founder and publishing director Sally Greer has always had a sharp eye for quality and beauty, making Beatnik synonymous with exquisitely designed books, rich in content... The catalogue spans cookbooks, children’s tales, personal development, poetry, art, street culture, contemporary history and other genres."
Where: 22 Westhaven Drive, Auckland CBD.
Phone: 09-358 5691.
Interwebs: BB's resolutely old school website. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "New Zealand's premier boating bookshop — cruising guides, books, NZ charts, chart table instruments and courtesy flags." Level 3 game: "We accept orders online via this website, email or phone. Staff will be in-store Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700 and Saturday 1000 to 1600 to process orders."
Cook the Books
Where: 19 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn.
Phone: 09 360 6513.
Interwebs: Website. FB. Insta. 📧 .
The word: "There is something special about a beautiful cookbook. Stunning photography, the thrill of new ideas and the joy of breaking bread give them a unique place in one's library. Within the confines of this (brilliantly named) shop you can eat your way around the world in 80 books thanks to the impeccable selection of food-related topics from cuisines and chefs to dining experiences." Level 3 game: "We're open from today for online sales... free delivery within Auckland."
Dear Reader Bookshop
Where: 436 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn.
Phone: 09 360 0383.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 .
The word: "Brimming with contemporary fiction, carefully selected coffee table books and a hyperbolic children's section, Dear Reader is a feast for the eyes. Any book lover will tell you that a good recommendation has the ability to change lives and this is a responsibility that Dear Reader staff seems to take very seriously." Level 3 game: "We are open for (contact-free) business. Unfortunately our current website does not reflect the wide range of stock we have available. If you would like to order books, cards etc please email or call your requests."
Where: 230 Jervois Road, Ponsonby.
Phone: 09 376 3978.
Interwebs: Insta. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "This small bookstore is a cultural jewel of Herne Bay. Find a wide-ranging and well-priced selection packed tightly on narrow lane shelves. To linger here for a few minutes is to increase your IQ, and your penchant for a paperback. The shop window is the drawcard to enter — there’s always something on display to catch your eye." Level 3 game: "We won’t be able to physically open under Level 3, but we’ll do the next best thing. If there’s a specific title, author, or subject that you’re interested, email us and we’ll scour the shelves for you. We can do deliveries if you’re local (walking distance) or contactless pickup from the shop."
The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop
Where: 1 Jervois Road, Ponsonby.
Phone: 09 376 7283.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "Originally established in 1964 by its namesake (a noted New Zealand writer and literary expert) in her living room, it remains the only dedicated children's bookshop in town. Its massive array of books is further supplemented with educational toys, puzzles, games and music." Level 3 game: "We're doing online orders. Freight-free Auckland-wide. Freight-free for orders over $50 - rest of NZ. Bonus - $5 voucher with every purchase to use in store when we re-open!"
The Green Dolphin
Where: 82 Pitt Street, Auckland CBD.
Phone: 09 307 0472.
Interwebs: The Facebook. Insta.
The word: "Simply impossible to wander into and not walk out having bought something precious and wonderful." - The Spinoff. "We stock quality secondhand and almost new books, movies, games and other trinkets. Great selection, good prices, and a relaxed atmosphere." Level 3 game: "We're back, selling via Trade Me. Mostly NZ titles... Looking for a particular title or author? Send us an FB message to ask."
Hard to Find Books
Where: 2 Saint Benedicts Street, Eden Terrace.
Phone: 09 368 4898.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧
The word: This iconic Onehunga rabbit warren of the mind very nearly vanished until a virtual miracle saw it resurrected on St Benedicts St (as documented in this lovely Newsroom story)." Level 3 game: "Our shops are closed but our website is fully functioning and can deliver. In all, we currently stock in the vicinity of 500,000 titles... just remember if you don't see it in our online listing we may still have it in the shop (neither of the shops list their current combined stock of approx 140,000 books online)."
Heroes for Sale
Where: 582 Karangahape Road, Grey Lynn.
Phone: 09 378 8414.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. Insta. 📧
The word: "We stock New Zealand's largest range of comics and graphic novels and encourage you to come to the store to discuss your comic needs with our friendly and knowledgeable staff." Level 3 game: "We are open for online trade only."
Where: 16 O'Connell Street, Auckland CBD.
Phone: 09 379 0266.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 .
The word: "A true veteran of the book scene, Jason Books is a treasure trove of covetable volumes at great prices. There's everything from must-have classics, non-fiction, biographies and New Zealand books, as well as an impressive range of fashion, art and architecture titles available which are often hard to come by."
Where: 202 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay.
Phone: 09 376 5869.
Interwebs: The Facebook.
The word: "Novel is your ultimate community bookstore specialising in literary fiction and non-fiction, and reputedly the best coffee-table books in the country!"
The Open Book
Where: 201 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.
Phone: 09-360 1741.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "This charming secondhand bookstore is located in an old Victorian villa on Ponsonby Road. There are over 22,000 books in stock, from ancient to modern, classics to poetry and fiction to art. Even better, there's a cafe out back with a sunny courtyard, a garden for reading and free wifi."
Where: 21 stores across Auckland.
Phone: See www.paperplus.co.nz/stores for store details.
Interwebs. Website. FB. Insta.
The word. They're pretty much everywhere. Specifically Auckland Hospital, Birkenhead, Browns Bay, Eastridge, Glenfield, Howick, Meadowbank, Orewa, Parnell, Ponsonby, Pukekohe, Remuera, Helensville, Highland Park, Sunnynook, Waiheke, Waiuku (Aldworthston), St Heliers, Takapuna, Warkworth, West City. Level 3 game. They're cranking things out on the website.
Where: Twelve shops across Auckland.
Phone: See http://paperpower.co.nz/stores for store details.
The word. An ower-operator franchise with 12 stores dotted around the city, mostly in the 'burbs — Birkenhead, Browns Bay, Devonport, Ellerslie, Epsom, Manurewa, Milford, Mt Roskill, Northcote, Papakura, Pt Chev and Papatoetoe. Paper Power's mantra: "Your local community booksellers and stationers... Small enough to care, big enough to compete."
Where: 6 High Street, Auckland CBD.
Phone: 9 379 0379.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook.
The word: "Anah Dunsheath Antiquarian Booksellers, also known as Rare Books (est. 1968), has been located in central Auckland's High Street for over 37 years. We are New Zealand's leading antiquarian booksellers and the only NZ members of ABA (Int), ANZAAB & ILAB, giving the customer added confidence. We stock a vast range of fine, early works and leather-bound books."
Time Out Bookstore
Where: 432 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden.
Phone: 09 630 3331.
Interwebs: Website. Facebook. Insta. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: An award-winning, independent bookstore with independent spirit since 1988." Kate Powell in Concrete Playground writes: "Found in the heart of Mount Eden Village, its fantastic selection of books, resident cat and striking window displays are only outdone by the immensely knowledgeable staff members. From 13-year-old Eli who can recommend everything from young adult fiction to Murakami on any given Saturday to RNZ and bFM journalist Kiran Dass, the staff have an eclectic array of reading tastes and interests to help pick that perfect book." Level 3 game: Time Out will be processing orders at Level 3. You can shop on our website and email us anytime or phone us between 9-5, Monday-Friday. Orders can be delivered or picked up from our takeaway window. More info in their latest newsletter.
ubiq University Bookshop
Where: Several stories at tertiary institutions across Auckland.
Phone: 09 306 2700.
Interwebs: Website. FB. Insta. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "ubiq is the fresh, new brand of University Bookshop Ltd, or you may have known us better as UBS. For over 50 years we have proudly traded as UBS and grown from a small shop on the University of Auckland campus to New Zealand's leading academic store." Level 3 game: "As New Zealand slowly makes its way to Level 3, ubiq books will be making its comeback! Starting from Tuesday 28th April ubiq will be operating online only, dispatching books again to bookworms across the country! Delivery on orders within New Zealand will be free."
Where: 19 High Street, Auckland CBD.
Phone: 09 307 0731.
Interwebs: Website. FB. Insta. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: A "sanctuary of ideas in the city" says Unity's Susanna Andrew, "full of the most diverse, different kinds of books that you won't see anywhere else." Around 29,321 titles to be exact. A "wonderful and dangerously tempting store", Unity has just named 2020 Bookstore of the Year at the London Book Fair International Excellent Awards.
Where: Eighteen stores across Auckland.
Phone: See https://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/stores for individual store details.
Interwebs. Website. FB. Insta.
The word. The institution! Eighteen stores across Auckland — Albany (x2), Botany, Browns Bay, Glenfield, New Lynn, Little High Street, Manukau, Massey, Milford, Newmarket, Papakura, Pukekohe, Royal Oak, St Lukes, Silverdale, Sylvia Park (x2). Doing the online thing like a boss.
The Women’s Bookshop
Where: 105 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.
Phone: 09 376 4399
Interwebs: Website. FB. Insta. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org
The word: "For over 25 years, The Women's Bookshop has championed women's writing, providing an impressive cross-section of local and international books that fully reflect their diverse lives and interests. Men are welcome, and aside from an excellent assortment of gender and sexuality writings, the shop has also become a leading specialist in therapy and counselling books." Level 3 game: We will be open at Level 3 on Tuesday 28 April for online orders & contactless pickups. We are checking emails & posting on social media so join us there."
Where: 83 Picton Street, Howick.
Phone: 09 532 9642.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "Poppies Howick - Your Kind of Bookshop. The perfect place to lose yourself amongst beautiful books, gorgeous cards and the latest in magazines." Level 3 game: They're trading hard out — details here.
Where: 1 Milford Road, Milford.
Phone: 09 489 8836.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "The Booklover is a well-loved independent bookshop on Auckland’s North Shore offering a curated and thoughtful selection of books for all ages."
BookMark Secondhand Books
Where: 15 Victoria Road, Devonport.
Phone: 09 445 2960.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "Welcome to BookMark, purveyors of quality secondhand, used and rare books." Level 3 game: "We're taking email orders and offering free contactless delivery after April 27 to your door within the Peninsula, if you are further afield we can courier your order to you (small charge will apply). More info on their FB. Review: "Situated in a heritage building overlooking the sea, Bookmark is exactly how you want a bookstore to be — rich with oriental rugs and the amber accents of time-loved wooden cabinets. The staff will navigate you through its more than 20,000 titles and encourage you to spend the time to find something you're really interested in." VIVA
Campus Books, Albany
Where: Student Central, Gate 1, East Precinct, Albany.
Phone: 09 415 0348.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 .
The word: "A leading tertiary onsite campus bookstore for all your study requirements. We are stockists of textbooks, stationery, medical instruments, general fiction and nonfiction and giftware." Level 3 game: "Great news! We have been granted the distinction of being an 'Essential Service' which means we can go back to the important task of getting you those titles you need to keep up with your learning."
Matakana Village Books
Where: 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
Phone: 09 423 0315.
Interwebs: Website. 📧 .
The word: "Owning a boutique independent bookstore has been a life’s dream for Mary-Liz, who took over the business in 2015."
Never Ending Books
Where: The Village Street Level Shop 4/1 Moenui Avenue, Orewa.
Phone: 09-426 6457.
Interwebs. The Facebook. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "We hold up to 6,000 books at any one time and pride ourselves on the quality of the books we stock. Give us a call or ping us an email if you're looking for anything in particular."
Where: 26 Victoria Road, Devonport.
Phone: 09 446 0023.
Interwebs. Website. FB. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "At Paradox we are very keen to return to trading. We are now orders online, by phone or via email. During Level 3 we are offering free delivery to Devonport Peninsula customers or you may collect from the shop." More details here.
Where: 358 Beach Road, Mairangi Bay.
Phone 09 478 5328.
Interwebs: Website. FB. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org
Arkham City Comics
Where: 2/885 Manukau Road, Royal Oak.
Phone: 09 625 6537.
Interwebs: Arkham's rather cool FB page. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "The heart of the Auckland (maybe New Zealand) Comic community. Reading, collecting, discussing and creating comics. All are welcome at ARKHAM!”
Old & Asnew Book Traders
Where: Selwyn Arcade, 182 Great South Road, Papakura.
Phone: 09 299 9619.
The word: One of Auckland's most enigmatic bookstores, a marvellous reflection of its maverick owner.
The Book Exchange - Caffeine & Book Dealers
Where: 10/8 Glendale Road, Glen Eden.
Phone: 09 818 6092.
Interwebs: Their website and utterly charming FB page. And Insta. 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word: "Our little shop is a well-loved second-hand bookstore & coffee shop... We want to create a circular economy where items can be created, used & returned to be used again. We cannot sustain a linear economy on a finite planet. We have the ability & responsibility to do the right thing so lets give it our best shot." Level 3 game: "Our physical store is currently closed. We are only selling books (no coffee and baking right which you can view on our website's Bookish Goodness tab." More info on their FB page.
Where: 7/9 Ellis Avenue, Mount Roskill.
Phone: 09-626 2256.
Interwebs: Website. The Facebook. 📧 .
The word: "The home to Auckland’s secondhand Christian books. Our mission is to sell a great range of recent and out of print Christian books at affordable and competitive prices." Level 3 game: "We are able to service your enquiries per telephone, email or our website enquiry system."
Manna Christian Stores
Where: 361 Mount Albert Road, Mount Roskill.
Phone: 09 620 5008.
Interwebs: Website. FB. 📧 email@example.com.
The word: "Manna Christian Stores seeks to serve the Christian community, and is dedicated to glorifying God by extending His kingdom through resources that meet people’s needs and promote Biblical principles.” Level 3 game: It's not the temple and so they're trading — details here.