February 25, 2019
It was local journalist Rob Drent who said he felt a “village bookshop is an indication of a civilised society” and indeed an hour spent pouring over the array of delicious publications now domiciled at Paradox Books, is a particularly civilised (albeit indulgent) way to spend one’s own time.
Long time local Terrie Gray recently celebrated her first year as bookshop owner and here she tells us a little about her journey thus far:
What was the path that led you to becoming the owner of Devonport’s beloved Paradox Books? I was born in Gisborne and, after living in NZ and Australia, moved to Devonport with my husband and two daughters twenty years ago. After graduating I worked in law libraries before having children and then later enjoyed years with the local Playcentre. While my children were young I worked as administrator at Holy Trinity Church Devonport and ran the local book fairs there for several years. During that time I also did a book publishing course and subsequently left to make books for people until I bought Paradox Books in February 2018.
What have you learned about your community from the books that they buy? Paradox is blessed with a highly literate Devonport population and many tourists who visit for the day. The locals appreciate our wide range of children’s books and we sell them plenty of novels and non-fiction too. Visitors are often keen to buy Michael King’s Penguin History of New Zealand (until they see how fat it is), books on New Zealand birds and, increasingly, New Zealand fiction and children’s books.
What part of the job/business has pleasantly surprised you? All of it: the people who visit and buy books and express their appreciation that the bookshop is attractive and, especially, still in business; the local businesses that have extended their support in words or by buying Paradox vouchers as gifts; even the vast amounts of administration that no one would ever guess a bookseller spends most of their time on (yes, I like that too).
Do you treat yourself to time alone with a book? Always. At least a couple of hours at the end of each day.