Bookshop owner Derek Workman is dwarfed by his huge book
collection in Kurow. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
For 30 years, Kurow second-hand bookshop owner Derek
Workman has sourced reading material from anywhere he can get
it, but after amassing a staggering 40,000 books, the rise of
technology and the increasing use of e-readers is putting an
end to his work.
Mr Workman bought the Kurow Second Hand Book and Curios shop
in the 1980s, and immediately turned it into a bookshop. All
five rooms of the shop are lined with paperbacks, hardbacks
and magazines, collected by Mr Workman over the past three
''There are boxes and boxes of books. I got them from
everywhere, wherever I could get them at the time, and from
whoever was offering them,'' he said.
Although the collection has yet to be assessed for its value,
a recent review of just part of the collection, conducted by
a professor from Charles Darwin University in Australia,
found it contained some of the old pink Auckland Weeklies, a
''significant'' number of Life magazines, as well as
leather-bound 19th-century classics.
The collection also included rare books and a variety of
children's books from the baby-boomer generation, as well as
an ''extensive'' non-fiction and biography collection. Mr
Workman is retiring, and hopes to sell the shop to the
Waitaki Valley Community Society, to allow the neighbouring
Kurow Museum to expand.
He said he had enjoyed his work, but the increasing use of
technology and television had led to a ''downturn in trade''.
He would be looking to sell or donate the books ahead of the
expected sale of the bookshop.