Tell us the origin story of your bookshop:
The Bookshop Darwin has existed in some form in Darwin City for several decades, but we have flourished since becoming independent. Previously a chain store, our focus is now completely on supporting local and being part of the community. These ideals are reflected in our new location with a shop front in Smith Street Mall – just a stone’s throw away from the esplanade and Darwin Harbour, and other great attractions like Crocodylus Cove and the wave pool.
What's your favourite bookselling memory?
Having worked here for almost eight years, I have too many incredible memories to choose from at the Bookshop, but some of my favourites are our book launches. The atmosphere of having 80-100 people in our shop enjoying some wine and nibbles, chatting about their love of reading and making new friends while an author signs copies of a brand new book, and knowing that we helped make the event happen, is just the best feeling. I wish I could bottle it!
What do you tell people (or wish you could tell people) who say bookselling is a dying industry?
Bookselling is not a dying industry, it’s evolving. We understand that there can be some benefits to reading electronic copies of books, or ordering from big online companies, and we have to adapt to this new reality and find our place in the world. But the feedback we are getting from our dedicated, loyal, growing customer-base is that visiting a bookshop to discuss books with real people and browse our range is a great way to spend an afternoon. We are constantly surprising them with author events and new products, and we cement our place in the community by bringing authors to schools and libraries, and working with local arts groups.
What books make you happiest to see people buying?
I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m thrilled when people buy my book, “Malediction: The Cursed Play”. But I think I get most excited when I see people buying my favourite books, whether this is the “Artemis Fowl” series that gave me so many laughs as a teenager, or Joe Abercrombie’s grim dark fantasy series that I rapidly devour. Or even the time-proven classics, like “American Gods”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and “Of Mice and Men”, which I have read multiple times.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time. It’s living up to the praise, an enchanting gothic novel of large estates and haunting memories.
-- Reading Recommendation --
Someone needs to get a present for their godson who is 8 years old, or is he 11 years old? They can’t remember. He doesn’t really like to read but he read a fantasy book once all the way through. What would you recommend?
This is a fun age to be for young boys, there are so many books I could suggest! The Percy Jackson and Skulduggery Pleasant series are both fun, fantasy adventure novels that have never failed to capture the interest of boys and girls when I recommend them. But I think Deltora Quest is another suggestion that gets overlooked a lot now. It’s a little bit older, but the fantasy adventure is enthralling, every bit as good as Lord of the Rings for a younger audience. And there are many mysteries and clues to keep readers of all ages on the edge of their seat.
Meet Sean and the other Bookseller Heros at The Bookshop Darwin on August 10th!
To celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day, they will be hosting storytime by authors with plenty of colouring in pages for the kids. Make sure you also come in for snacks throughout the day and a free tote bag with purchases.
Click here for more information.