The Shop Floor: OPO | Green Dolphin Bookshop
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 Green Dolphin Books, a second-hand bookshop in Auckland with a glorious dedicated children's section.
Opo: A Secondhand Bookshop for Young Readers, is the cheeky little cousin to our Green Dolphin Bookshop. The two shops sit side by side in St Kevins Arcade on Auckland's Karangahape Road. We started The Green Dolphin five years ago and always put children’s books front and centre; we know how expensive they can be to buy new and wanted to encourage children to read.
When the shop next door became vacant last winter we secured a short term lease to experiment with a specialist young readers' shop which has allowed us to expand our children’s stock and build on our reputation for quality kids' titles.
Sadly, this week sees the end of Opo in its current form. We’re moving both shops to new premises at 82 Pitt Street (just around the corner, really). There won’t be a separate Opo store anymore but we’re committing to maintaining the same range and quality at the new Green Dolphin. The bean bags and deck chairs will be coming with us!
...We’re committing to maintaining the same range and quality at the new Green Dolphin.
The books we get most excited about are beautifully illustrated vintage titles. We currently have a wonderful rare American first edition of a Margaret Mahy picture book in the window, and a collection of original Orlando the Marmalade Cat books.
Being a secondhand store, we don’t deal in new releases but it’s always great when recently released titles find their way into the shop. We’d be very happy to have a constant supply of recent David Walliams titles – and a big stack of those lavishly illustrated Harry Potters would be nice too!
We do often wish that New Zealand authors were selling better. Margaret Mahy, Maurice Gee and Tessa Duder are consistent sellers but there are so many others worth reading. We’re committed to keeping the New Zealand shelf well stocked and would love the challenge of faster turnover!
We’re committed to keeping the New Zealand shelf well stocked and would love the challenge of faster turnover!
We get frequent requests from older people looking for books they cherished as children and would love to own again (or buy for their grandchildren). They’re not usually well-known or easy to find titles but we keep a 'search list' to consult when buying and every now and then magic happens.
We're always hopeful that a publisher will bring out the next Harry Potter. Anything to keep young people – especially boys – reading through the tweenage years, but it's easier said than done, obviously.
Anything to keep young people – especially boys – reading through the tweenage years, but it's easier said than done, obviously.
Although we’re sad to be saying farewell to Opo as a separate store, we’re very excited about all the possibilities that come with the new Green Dolphin. Seeing young people find joy in reading has been one of the most rewarding aspects of running a bookshop. We don’t know when exactly the new store will be open yet (follow us on Facebook for updates) but we do know the children’s section will be as inviting and well stocked as ever. Promise.
Green Dolphin Bookshop
Roy Ward and Chargn Keenan
82 Pitt Street (from early Feb 2020)!