Downtown Ōtaki is buzzing, with 3 new shops: sushi, bakery and a bookshop.Marie Williams has opened Main Street Books in the shop that was once Annie Blythell’s Main Street Emporium. After a health scare, Marie closed her Papatoetoe bookshop and moved to Ōtaki. Why Ōtaki? To be close to family in Waikanae. The family had fond memories of holidays in Ōtaki, so it wasn’t a hard choice. Now with a house in Mill Road and a shop in the high street, Marie has brought her 20,000 books to town.
How did she become a bookseller?
New to Papatoetoe, she was waiting for a pizza when she discovered a bookshop. Devouring the pizza and the local newspaper, Marie discovered the bookshop was up for sale, and the rest is history. A prodigious reader, she’s now able to indulge her passion.
Mostly paperbacks, a good cross-section of varied reading, with an emphasis on science fiction and romance. There’s a smattering of travel, history, biographies and gardening books. The average price is $5. The writer picked up a book on roses and another on racing for the cost of his lunch money.
Hmmmm… Nalini Singh an Auckland sci-fi and romance writer, better-known overseas than at home. Born in Fiji, educated in Auckland, Nalini has made the New York Times bestseller list, and in her late thirties is the author of 69 titles. Phew! Marie has 13 of her books on the shelves and has read them all. Nalini, she says blends the genres of science fiction and romance expertly.
And best of all, there’s a bowl of chocolate fish on the counter.