From the Shop Floor: Marsden Books

We are pleased to present a regular series highlighting the work, expertise and enthusiasm of some of the greatest children’s booksellers of New Zealand.

Here’s a shop that was born in the same year as The Sapling’s two founding editors: Marsden Books in Karori, Wellington.

Marsden Books was first established by Trevor and Maxine Rose in 1981, and has remained at the same site in Karori, Wellington ever since. Roger Holyoake and Patricia Morrison took over in in 1991, and Anna Hunt has been the owner since 2001.

The shop has always devoted a third of its retail space to children’s books, which play an important part in the business as staff nurture young babies through to teenagers to become confident enthusiastic readers. There’s a team of part-time staff who have been with the shop for a long time and are dedicated to giving outstanding customer service. The shop has been an NZ Post agent for many years, which is another way it serves the community. Marsden Books is ‘an oasis for booklovers of all ages’.

What are you recommending this month?

The Good Egg by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald (HarperCollins)

The Book of Knowing by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin NZ)

You are Light by Aaron Becker (Walker Books)

What new releases are you looking forward to over the next few months?

We have a big following here for the series ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ (Allen & Unwin NZ), so we are looking forward to the new ones.

What do you wish was selling better?

We wish Te Reo books sold better, but we keep carrying them in stock.

Share a nice story you have about matching a book to a customer/reader!

We have many customers who are parents or grandparents of reluctant readers. Usually success comes from a move to graphic novels, if they are older,or books published by Barrington Stoke, if they are finding reading difficult. We had a school last year buy a huge stock of our Barrington Stoke books so that they could establish a section in their school library. Very exciting.

We carry the full range of ‘Warriors’ series by Erin Hunter and it’s lovely to see the joy on children’s faces as they are led out the back to find the particular book in the series they’re looking for.

What do you wish publishers would publish?

We would like to see more New Zealand poetry for children. We would like to see James K Baxter’s poems for children back in print. And more adventure stories set in New Zealand that are not fantasy.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

We are fortunate to be embedded in a community where so many customers value books and reading and understand the importance of supporting a local bookshop.

Marsden Books

159 Karori Road



Tel: (04) 939 9460