Poetry Shelf connections: my phone a NZ bookshop project




Before we moved into Level 4 lockdown, I decided I would phone a NZ bookshop each week and get them to recommend a book and I would pick one to get sent out to me.

I didn’t get very far as bookshops had to close! But the day before lockdown I phoned Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden and spoke to Kiran Dass. I so appreciated Kiran talking when the shop was packed with people stocking up on books.

I have saved the parcel until today because I wanted to hear that my big children’s poetry anthology I have been working on is ok. And it is! So I am very happy. And now I have my treat!

The books seem entirely perfect to be reading now.

In the middle of night recently I heard Rebecca Priestly in conversation with Kim Hill on RNZ National about her new book, Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica (VUP), and it was breathtaking. It was a podcast of their session at the VERB Wellington Writer’s Festival.  I can’t wait to read this book. I can’t seem to find a link to the podcast – will add if I do!

Kiran recommended Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City (Allen & Unwin). Very excited about this book.




Like many bookshops, Time Out will start doing online orders from next week when we move into Level 3.

This is a time to go gently on ourselves, for some it is a time to read, and for some it is not, and that is ok.

Some of us are in positions to support small businesses again, and I plan to resume my support of independent NZ bookshops.

Here is the latest advice from Time Out:


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