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Mah Jong - 29th Mar 2018

Mah Jong If you are one of those people who have a beautiful set of mah jong tiles languishing on the shelf in your wardrobe or lying forgotten at the back of a drawer, now is the time to dust it off and learn to play.

Mah jong is a table game for four people which has been played in China since the time of the Qing dynasty. It is easy to learn (apparently) and playing is meant to be very good for your brain.

The best way to learn the strategies is to buy a book. The book will teach you to play and it will also ensure that you then have a clear set of rules to avoid confusion and arguments when playing with competitive types! Pop in and buy a copy and get started.

Essie Summers - 28th Mar 2018

Essie Summers We had a signed first edition of an Essie Summers novel here in the shop for several years. Then Bruce Munro of the Otago Daily Times wrote a feature article about Essie Summers and he mentioned our copy in his article and included a photograph. Our copy sold immediately - and it would have sold three times over! We were very grateful to Bruce for the mention.

We now have another inscribed and signed by Essie Summers. It is a copy of her final book Design for Life which, interestingly, was published 40 years after her first novel.

And, also interestingly, there is still a connection to the Otago Daily Times. She has warmly inscribed it on the fep to "Civis", the ODT columnist, with thanks for his tributes to her writing.

Nursery Rhymes - 27th Mar 2018

Nursery Rhymes Most of us can no doubt finish off the nursery rhymes below with very little effort:
1. Hickory, dickory, dock...
2. Mary, Mary, quite contrary.....
3. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.....
4. Twinkle twinkle little star.....

But The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes contains much much more than the very well known rhymes, limericks and riddles. In this book, you will not only come across verses that you've never seen or heard before but you will also learn a lot of interesting information about the ones that you already know.

Here's a very well known but seasonally appropriate one
Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny, 
Hot cross buns!
If your daughters do not like them
Give them to your sons.

Dunedin Public Library - 26th Mar 2018

Dunedin Public Library Freedom to Read
A Centennial History of Dunedin Public Library

by Mary Ronnie

I know we are a second-hand bookshop - but all readers love libraries and second-hand booksellers are no exception. Mary Ronnie's book traces over 100 years of the Dunedin Public Library's history from its inception in 1908.

The book is more than a dry historical document (although of course it has some of that as well), it also brings alive the buildings, the personalities, the collections and the controversies. Included is a story about Mary Ronnie's own run-in with the famous AH Reed. He had generously donated a superb collection of mediaeval illuminated manuscripts & bibles to the library. HOwever, according to Ronnie, he still more or less considered it his own and wanted to rip one of the illustrations out to have it framed and hung elsewhere. The ensuing fracas makes for interesting reading and, as I said, brings history alive.

FISHING - 23rd Mar 2018

FISHING Not everyone is an experienced fisherman. Some are enthusiastic amateurs. Others need a chance to get started. There is no better way to get through the stage of being a complete beginner without massive embarrassment than with the help of a book! Make sure the old hands don't have a laugh at your expense.

Geoff Thomas: Fishing Secrets

Learn everything you need to know about knots, bait, rods, tackle and how to fish from a boat or the beach or the rocks or the wharf (because it's not all the same technique). Make sure you know how to identify what you're catching as well. This book is packed with practical information and great tips. Come in a get a copy of the book and while you're here, you can have a browse through our well stocked fishing section.

Booky books - 21st Mar 2018

Booky books Many of us who love books and reading also tend to enjoy what we informally call "booky books". We mean it to encompass things such as Tolkien's Gown by Rick Gekoski or The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell or The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald or Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshop by J Campbell Trafficking in Old Books by Anthony Marshall. There are so many to choose from and you come across some wonderful quotes as well, such as these from George Orwell..

Would I like to be a bookseller de metier? On the whole ....and some happy days I spent in the shop - no.

There are two well known types of pest by whom every second-hand bookshop is haunted. One is the .. person smelling of old food who comes every day and tries to sell you worthless books. The other is the person who orders large quantities of books for which he has no intention of paying.

Our shop had exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether 10% of our customers knew a good book from a bad one.


Read Yourself Happy - 20th Mar 2018

The grammar in the title might be suspect but these books claim to teach you all sorts of things that will make you happier.

These books are about doing what you love, learning to laugh at yourself, becoming more prosperous, dealing with disaster, finding peace of mind, being able to forgive yourself and lots more. You will find out how happy people think, why rich people get richer, why all your bills come at once, how to understand yourself, and how to stop blaming your mother!

Andrew Matthews' books are a guideline for living and a map to happiness. Lots of title to choose from: Follow Your Heart, Being Happy, Happiness in a Nutshell, How Life Works and Happiness in Hard Times. You get the picture.

Hold Tight Please! - 16th Mar 2018

Don McAra's
Hold Very Tight Please! The Cable Cars of New Zealand

Cable cars used to run up and down the streets of Dunedin in the good old days and for many people they are gone but not forgotten.

This lovely book of Don McAra's paintings brings alive those old cable cars and the days when the streets were thronging with them. This isn't just of interest to transport enthusiasts; it will appeal to anyone who remembers this vanished but much loved passenger system. 

You can see why the cable car was king when you peruse this book.


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