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February 21, 2016 | by  | in Arts Books |
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The Salient 2016 Literary Companion



If you’re new to Wellington this year you’ll want to be clued up on some of the places you can get your book fix. Browsing book shops is a unique experience, one that won’t be diminished even in this age of Netflix-based instant gratification. There’s nothing quite like taking the time to look, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, and the best books are often found when you aren’t expecting it.


Arty Bees Books (106 Manners St., Te Aro)

If you can’t find a particular book anywhere else, there’s a good chance that Arty Bees has it. It’s easy to spend hours browsing the plentiful selection, from popular novels to obscure titles you never knew you needed. Most of the stock is secondhand, but there’s a good array of new science fiction titles for the speculatively inclined.


Book Haven (154a Riddiford St., Newtown)

Nestled amongst Newtown’s bustling eateries and cafes, Book Haven is a cosy secondhand bookshop awaiting exploration. Most of the stock is kept off-site and is available online, but there’s still plenty to browse.


Pegasus Books (204 Left Bank, (off Cuba St.) Te Aro)

When you imagine a secondhand bookshop, Pegasus Books is probably the closest thing to that conjured image. The store is a warren of towering, teetering shelves crammed with used books waiting for a new home. Feel the stress ebb away amongst the old book smell and soft classical music.


Unity Books (57 Willis St., Te Aro)

If you’re from up north you might be familiar with Unity Auckland, and her bigger sister store in Wellington is not to be missed. Featuring a vast selection of fiction, poetry, history, politics, science, local titles, and so much more. A literary hot-spot, Unity Wellington also hosts plenty of bookish events throughout the year.


Vic Books (Easterfield Building, Kelburn Parade & Rutherford House, Pipitea)

In two handy university locations, Vic Books is much more than a textbook shop. Find the latest fiction and non-fiction titles, as well as gift-ware, postage and an excellent cafe. Handy tip: Students get 10% off books.




Writers Week, 8 – 13 March


An exciting time for readers, the Writers Week portion of the 2016 New Zealand Festival is about to kick off. Here’s a sampling of some of the inspiring people you can head along to see in our own little city:


Miranda July

The LA filmmaker, actress, and author presents Lost Child!, a one-woman, one-act show that is simultaneously part lecture and performance art. July’s work is not for the prudish, but is always surprising and wonderfully weird.


Mallory Ortberg

The co-founder of blog sensation The Toast and author of Texts From Jane Eyre, heads to Wellington to talk about art, media, and the curious way in which she melds the two.


Henry Marsh

A pioneering neurosurgeon and the author of the memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery. Marsh talks about the peaks and pitfalls of operating on the human brain, and the joy he finds in his work.


Etgar Keret

An Israeli writer known for his short stories, graphic novels, and script-writing. Keret visits us to talk about his recent memoir The Seven Good Years, and his life in modern day Israel.


Anna Smaill

The Wellington-based author of the Man Booker long-listed The Chimes is in conversation with fellow Wellington writer Kate De Goldi about the success of her debut novel, and the role that music plays in her writing.

Head to for more information and to book your tickets.

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