How to Choose a Book*, by Jenna Todd

*at your local independent bookstore.

Prepare yourself
Put away your phone! Fill up your parking meter! Your bookstore is ready and waiting for you.

Are you ready to have a conversation? Are you ready to be led down the path of the unknown? It’s time to stand shoulder to shoulder with your literary comrades as you take part in one of the most precious and personal tasks known to man: choosing a book.

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An inviting Time Out Books window

The Great Good Place
As you step into your local store, you will feel something quite powerful. That’s the power pp_Ray_oldenburgof words. These books are written and published with you in mind and this bookstore is filled to the brim with titles chosen by booksellers, for you.

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg (right) believes that alongside your home and work, you need a place where you can gather and be part of a community. He has coined this The Third Place.

This bookstore opens its doors everyday just to be your Third Place. It wants to be a part of your routine, a place of comfort and discovery.

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A mere corner of Unity Books Wellington – start here and work your way out!

Judge a book by its cover
Start big.

I recommend you make a round the whole store at least once. This is where unexpected surprises may come your way.

Narrow down.

Choose your section – Fiction! History! Cooking! Cultural Studies! Scan the covers or spines. Let the fonts and colours tell you to grab them. Let’s be honest, there are so many books with terrible covers. Covers where you know the stories’ protagonist would despise their outer skin. But don’t let this deter you.

Something will lead you to pick up a book and it’s hard to explain how and why this happens. The best way to think of it is as a fateful match.

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Time Out Bookstore staff in 2012. They may not be dressed in evening wear in-store…

Ask the experts
Floating around the bookstore, will be some very happy people. These are your booksellers.

They have been hired because they, like you, love to read. They have towering piles of books, surrounding their sleeping heads, hoping to absorb the words so they can pass on their opinion to you.

Your bookseller will probably ask you a few questions. What are some of your favourite books? What have you read lately? Watch them carefully after you answer, as you will see their brain calculating and eliminating. Then follow them around the store as they mumble to themselves, putting together a curated pile for you.

IMG_1498[1]Making the final decision
By now, you may have gathered quite a pile of books and, unfortunately, these choices just may exceed your budget. (Ed’s choices from her review pile to the side!)

This is where you will have to a) thinking about your upcoming reading spots and b) get in touch with how you’re feeling.

Will you be carrying this book on a plane? Or will it sit firmly on your beside table?
Do you feel like delving into a new author? Or would you little to settle into a familiar voice?

The elimination process is a difficult task, but you will make the right choice. Read the first paragraph of all your finalists and, somewhere amongst their text, one of them will whisper the strongest, “I’m the one!”

Heck, you may just give up and say, “I’ll take them all!”

wonka_golden_ticketCongratulate yourself
You have not only just gained a precious item for your bookshelf. You now have a ticket to any time or place. Your imagination will be stretched and you will discover something you would not have known before.

This book will sit upon your shelves for years to come. Its cover will become a memory trigger for this exact moment of purchase and the unfolding moments in which you absorb its tale.

Conservations will be sparked as future guests to your home approach your bookcase, tilt their head sideways and finger its spine.

This new book is yours, but its story will be shared. And that’s pretty special.

by Jenna Todd, Manager of Time Out Books, Mt Eden

Mt Eden’s Time Out Bookstore Launched Man Booker Prize Winner 2013

On Thursday, 1 August, 2013 at 6:00pm Time Out cv_the_luminaries_HBBookstore in Auckland’s Mt Eden were proud to host the Auckland launch of the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner, The Luminaries (Victoria University Press). Launched in style by her New Zealand publisher, Fergus Barrowman of Victoria University Press the launch was a total sell out of hardback copies of the book available on the night. Time Out Bookstore went on to sell 87 copies of the hardback in total, nearly a tenth of the total print run of 1000 which is now out of print.

A capacity crowd turned out in force to support the growing buzz around Eleanor Catton’s second novel, after 2008’s widely acclaimed The Rehearsal. Eleanor spoke eloquently about the twin importance of pounamu and gold to the novel’s plot.

The youngest Man Booker winner in the prize’s 45-year history (she is 28 but completed The Luminaries aged 27) has triumphed with the longest ever Man Booker winning novel (832 pages). Catton is just the second New Zealander to win the prize, the first being Keri Hulme with The Bone People in 1985 (the year Eleanor Catton was born).

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

The Luminaries is available in-store at $35, paperback.

For further information contact:
Nevena Nikolic
Book Buyer
Time Out Bookstore
09-6303331 / nevena@timeout.co.nz