Dawn Harrison has been a volunteer at the Christian Bookcentre North Otago shop in lower Thames St for four decades. Now the manager, she hopes more customers will be attracted by its new layout. Sally Brooker pops in for a browse.
Q: How long have you been involved with the Christian Bookcentre?
Forty years. I joined six to eight months after it opened. Some of the people who were the founders are still alive.
Q: Is it interdenominational?
Yes. We have a committee, with a meeting of trust members of different denominations.
Q: Do you mind saying which denomination you are?
I’m Anglican, and proud of it. Many churches are struggling for numbers now, but the Pentecostal churches are doing well with youth. We’re all happy with that. I belong to the St Mary’s parish at the North End. The people are the drawcard out there.
Q: How is the Christian Bookcentre staffed?
We have helpers who come in at 10am and work until 1pm. Another lot come in at 1pm and work until 4pm. We’re open six days a week.
Q: Who are your customers?
We have people from most denominations. We get a lot of visitors – tourists – at this end of town.
Q: How do you decide what items to stock?
We’re part of the Christian Booksellers’ Association of New Zealand network, where we source stock. We’re looking at changing our stock. Books are on the out. We used to hire out a lot of videos, but no-one wants them any more. We’re looking at going into Christian gifts. We have all sorts of things.
Q: What sells best?
Cards are our top sellers. We’ve been told hundreds of times we’ve got the best range in town. We’ve moved them to the front of the shop, so people walking past can see.