The book store - alive and well in the Wairarapa
Hedleys Books is an institution in Masterton, a small town outside of Wellington, in the creative hub of the Wairarapa. Founded by current owner David Hedley's grandfather back in 1907, after his back of the bike sales of newspaper The Dominion expanded to include The Freelancer, and thus permanent premises were needed, it has survived a depression or several, two wars (being run as a penny library by David's aunt in WWII), and potentially the greatest threat of them all, the advent of the e-reader. David however has faith, and sees anything allowing people more access to books to be a good thing. 'People can download a book, and still support a local bookstore.' The reason for this stems from his passion for the physical, and the belief that reading is a 'multisensory experience.' Holding it, feeling it, flicking through the pages and inhaling the scent - all of this goes beyond the written word, and a book should be a 'joy to hold'. It is this which started the relationship between Hedleys and Genesis, one of the world's leading publishers of photography and culture books, when the latter asked David to curate a facsimile of James Cook's letters. The latest project has been a compilation of Ringo Starr's photography of The Beatles back during their heydey. But it is not big names that make him believe that Hedleys will survive. 'People will always want the recommendation of their local and trusted book store.'
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