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Featherston Becomes International Booktown

Featherston Becomes International Booktown

The small Wairarapa town of Featherston is connecting to its history with WW1 and railways to become New Zealand’s member of the International Organisation of Booktowns (IOB).

The founding group is Creative Featherston Inc.

Featherston Booktown’s website has been launched and invitations sent to second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, authors and book related artisans throughout New Zealand to take part in a major two day celebration of the book in October this year.

Featherston has been accepted to the first level of membership by the IOB, joining Hay on Wye in the UK, Clunes, Vic. in Australia and a score of other towns from Norway to Korea.

Chair of Creative Featherston, Lincoln Gould explains the’s definition “is a small rural town or village in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Booktowns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty.”

“Until we’ve held our first major events we’re a provisional member of the international organisation, sharing information and support services,” says Gould.

“We have a town of historic interest within a large area of scenic beauty. Now we want to establish Featherston as a centre where people will visit to browse and buy books, engage with authors, bookbinders, restorers and other book-related craftspeople.”

“The Booktown Festival planned for October 17-18 will be a centre point of our project but we see permanent establishment of additional second hand bookshops, and artisan workshops as a development opportunity for the town.”

South Wairarapa Mayor, Adrienne Staples , “For a long time Featherston has been looking for a flagship event to call its own. The Booktown Festival is a perfect fit for the town and Council is committed to doing whatever we can to help make it a success.”

Creative arts personality and broadcaster, Kate Mead is the Director of Operations for Creative Featherston and is working closely with the Kokomai Creative Festival in which Featherston Booktown 2015 will feature as the major literary event.

“Featherston and books combined, two of my favourite things,” says Kate, “I can see the town full of booklovers, walking around in happiness, taking in the sights and sounds of book-related presentations, activities, readings, theatre, on the main street, in the library, the bookshop - For the Love of Books, the ANZAC Hall. It’s going to be book heaven!”



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