Two Years in a World of Books

We're celebrating - it's been two years of life in Book Haven. Two years of owning and running a second-hand bookshop, which means two years of being surrounded by and immersed in the world of books and that is a real privilege.

Some of the highlights these past two years include various talks with authors, book launches, discussions, poetry readings and winter book craft evenings run by the wonderful Wellington Zinefest. We've even had wedding photos in the shop (some of the best photos were in the 'horror' section). The Freedom Shop with their zines, badges and brand new books continues to thrive in their nook at the front of the shop, and this summer we were part of the Performance Arcade, the first time the Arcade has had a pop-up bookstore as part of the creativities. And of course, there are always the customers and browsers that come and go and share their joy in books with us.

There's something special about seeing the delight when a person finds a book they have hunted high and low for for a long time. Just last week someone asked if we had a certain book and after checking our database I had to say sorry we didn't have any left in stock, it was one that comes and goes quickly. They sighed and turned to leave but then stopped and asked about another book, just on the off chance they said, as they'd been asking at shops for a long time but you never know...they sighed again. I had to ask them to spell the author's name as it was one I didn't recognise - and we had it! They nearly jumped with joy, and then proceeded to tell me how special the book was to them.

Another joy is hearing people of all ages delight in the memories that a book can bring. Our shop counter is opposite the children's section, and so many people ensconce themselves in that space to browse and inhale and devour books. In one day there may be an older child grasping hold of a book and talking excitedly about how it was their absolute favourite when they were a baby so long ago, a few customers later there may be some one manoeuvring their zimmer frame into the same area and exclaiming about the delight of finding a book from their childhood - a childhood that was 70-odd years ago! The reaction is the same.

For us as booksellers, there's also the sense of achievement when someone comes in saying they haven't read a book for years but want one now. It's so rewarding when we help find them a book to take home and get stuck back into the reading journey.

Life in a secondhand bookshop is a never ending adventure of books, people and life. Thank you to the Book Haven Team and of course to all our customers - you make this journey worthwhile.