New owners at Book Haven

After 17 years, a quarter of a million books, 30,000 orders, three retail premises, three warehouses, three dozen staff and countless customers, Book Haven is ready for fresh energy and ownership. Don and Julie sold.


Don Hollander and Julie Eberly started Book Haven in 2003. At first Julie was the manager and Don kept his day job. The original shop was small and off in a side street, then moved on to the main street, until ending up at 160 Riddiford St in much bigger premises. Now it’s a major second-hand book shop in NZ with many regular customers.


Don is commonly referred to as the man ‘with the hat at Book Haven’. He’s also remembered as the owner of the shop visited in 2011 by a badge wearing government official chasing down an ‘indecent’ book the shop had. The indecent book in question was ‘Bloody Mama’ by Robert Thorn, a book based on the true story of Ma Baker and her sons who were an outlaw gang in the 1930’s US Midwest.


Book Haven is known as the place to go to if you’re looking for a hard-to-find book. If the book you’re after isn’t there, then Don would find it. One result is that online sales are now a major part of Book Haven with books sold around the world. However, the physical shop is still the heart of Book Haven and people browsing the shelves are what make it a special place.


Don and Julie have sold their treasured shop, books, fittings and teapots to Annemarie Thorby and Marcus Graf who also come from a similar educational and IT background. Whenever Annemarie popped into Book Haven, she would often say to Don, “Let me know when you retire” and would talk about owning a second-hand bookshop. Then finally one day he said, “This year.” Just over two years later the dream became a reality.


Annemarie and Marcus took over on 1st April, with Annemarie giving up her day job to become the new person in the shop. Annemarie plans to keep up the tradition of finding the books that readers want.


Annemarie and Marcus also plan to make it the most lively second-hand bookshop in town with dreams to host regular public events linked to the book world. They will keep it running as a hybrid New and Used bookshop, serving the Wellington community through its Newtown store and the global community through its website.