Love Letter to Bookshops: ‘Gateways to a thousand worlds'
MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday, 22 November - FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Love Letter to Bookshops: ‘Gateways to a thousand other worlds’
Booksellers NZ is delighted to announce that the winner of the ‘Love Letter to Bookshops’ competition, held as part of the NZ Bookshop Day festivities, is Marcus Hobson, who wrote a love letter to Books A Plenty bookshop, in Tauranga. [Image attached, message in full below]
There were 550 entries into the competition, from all over New Zealand, but lead judge Peter Biggs CNZM, said: “I chose Marcus’ letter because it is truly an encomium of bookshops and why they are so important. He captures, insightfully and beautifully, why bookshops are special places. They don’t just stock and sell books, they enable us and our souls to go on wonderful journeys of exploration.”
Hobson wins $500 in NZ Book Tokens, which are valid in 70% of bookshops nationwide, but which we are certain he will spend at Books a Plenty. When told he had won the competition, Hobson said, “I am so pleased that what I managed to put into words has been spotted for what it was – a heartfelt message about one of life's true passions. The love of all you can find in a bookshop.”
Books A Plenty in Tauranga also wins a prize, sponsored by Nielsen Book. Nevena Nikolic, Sales and Marketing Manager for Nielsen Book in New Zealand: “The winning bookstore, Books a Plenty in Tauranga, are long-standing BookData Online subscribers and we are pleased that their subscription in 2017 will be reduced by the amount of $1000. The beautiful winning comment is testament to their loyal customers and their successful bookstore.”
Books A Plenty is run by Chris and Warren Baskett, and they are understandably rather excited that they and their staff have been singled out for this prize. “All of us here at Books A Plenty work so hard to provide that environment of choice for customers, always striving to read, provide, and talk about, books that entertain and/or educate.
“Basically, we welcome our customers in to the shop and then invite them to escape…”.
There were twenty finalists, and their messages are all displayed on the Booksellers NZ website. We were overwhelmed with the quality of these messages, and we wish to thank everybody who entered. The sense of joy people take in their local bookshops was palpable, and we had several remarks from booksellers who were given a huge boost by the love their customers poured out so eloquently.
This promotion topped off what was a very successful NZ Bookshop Day for participating bookshops, and we intend to repeat this in 2017.
Here is Marcus’ winning note:
“Bookshops are gateways to a thousand other worlds, ten thousand imaginations and a million possibilities.
We can lose ourselves or find ourselves, find answers, find inspiration, or find just what we are looking for. We can even find that we were wrong.
Most of all, bookshops are a portal into the imaginations of writers, where not everything is real or as it seems, but where you can happily live for the next few days or weeks.”