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Petone Bookshop Wins Bookshop Of The Year Award For The First Time

Last night’s awards ceremony at the annual New Zealand Book Industry awards was a time for the book trade to reflect and celebrate the last year. It is a forum where individual publishers and booksellers are recognised as the best in the New Zealand trade. One of the highly anticipated awards presented at the ceremony is the Nielsen Book NZ Bookshop of the Year award.

The Nielsen Book NZ Bookshop of the Year Award proved this year to be an embarrassment of riches. Nominations met and surpassed the criteria repeatedly, all in different ways, with different stylistic and philosophical touches.

This year’s winner is Schrödinger’s Books on Jackson Street in Petone, a relative newcomer to the scene, only opening in September 2019.

The judges said that Schrödinger’s had it all: “a beautiful physical space, arresting windows and merchandising excellence, a focus on personalised customer service and commercial and community reach beyond their own doors. Their inventory is specific and curated, having developed a specialisation in Manga and a deliberate differentiation from their local competitor.

“They’ve rapidly opened up to social media, built a website, actively ramped up their events programs and ensured they are a part of the small community with numerous book clubs and cross promotions with other local retailers.

“They are resilient, resourceful, environmentally conscious and they understand their strengths. They have a strong aesthetic and a commitment to being quirky and offering something different. There were so many quality nominations for this award that is difficult to single out one. There are many wonderful bookshops in NZ with incredible histories. This year we honour a bookshop building its legacy within our amazing bookselling community.

Schrdinger’s Books were surprised and delighted to receive the award, on the Zoom broadcast a visibly stunned owner Mary Fawcett said, ‘I’m totally gobsmacked.’

Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Chief Executive Dan Slevin says, ‘We are proud of all our book stores not just surviving but thriving in the current challenging environment and were so impressed with Schrdinger’s Books tenacity, perseverance and creativity under trying times.’

Publishing Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Tākupu Director Catriona Ferguson said the book industry is well-served by the passionate booksellers that are continuing to inspire in a changing environment.

The Book Industry Awards are organised by Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand and PANZ Te Rau o Tākupu (the Publishers Association of NZ) and sponsored by Nielsen Book, providers of data and statistical insight to the whole industry.

The other awards announced at the online ceremony on Wednesday night were:

Emerging NZ Publisher of the Year – Rachel Eadie, Penguin Random House New Zealand

Emerging NZ Bookseller of the Year - Rafael Moreira, of McLeods Booksellers (Rotorua)

Bestseller Award (for top seller buy volume and value between April 2020 and March 2021)Supergood by Chelsea Winter

Marketing and Publicity Strategy of the Year - Harper Collins NZ for Impossible: My Story by Stan Walker, campaign manager Rebecca Thorne

Aotearoa Booksellers’ Choice Award – Shared between Auē by Becky Manawatu (published by Mākaro Press) and Imagining Decolonisation by Rebecca Kiddle & Bianca Elkington & Moana Jackson & Ocean Mercier & Mike Ross & Jennie Smeaton & Amanda Thomas (published by BWB)

NZ Salesperson of the Year - Jessica Rice, Penguin Random House New Zealand

NZ Book Industry Innovation Award - Allen & Unwin

Nielsen Book NZ Publisher of the Year - Mākaro Press

Lifetime Achievement Award – Bridget Williams of BWB


Robbie Egan

Robbie Egan is the CEO of the Australian Booksellers' Association. Egan came to his current role from being group operations manager at Melbourne independent book chain Readings, and has had a long career in bookselling.

Anahera Morehu

Anahera is currently the Kaiārahi at the University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau (UoA) Faculty of Business and Economics. Prior to that she was the Kaiwhakahaere Toi Aronui me Māori me Moananui-a-Kiwa at Te Tumu Herenga, University of Auckland. She is currently the Tumuaki Tuakana (Immediate Past President) of Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa (LIANZA). She is a member of LIANZA Professional Registration Board and Māori Subject Headings Governing Group. She also sits on Ngā Kaiwhakahau, Executive for Te Rōpū Whakahau.

She is the convenor for the Wright Foundation Te Kura Ponamu in Te Reo Māori NZ Book Awards category.

Peter Vial

Peter is the New Zealand Head of CA NZ, the professional body for chartered accountants. He is a member of the Board of Read NZ Te Pou Muramura and a trustee of the Mātātuhi Foundation, which was set up by the Auckland Writers Festival to support development of New Zealand’s literary landscape. In his spare time he is an avid reader and bookshop browser.

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