Hard to Find Books

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The shop itself is a huge old villa, with so many rooms and corridors and staircases that there always seems to be another corner to explore, no matter how long you spend there. It is overflowing with more words and stories than anyone could ever read, and includes books that are so brilliantly strange, it’s a wonder someone had the imagination to write them.

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Hard to Find Books has a section for everything you can think of. This includes sections on Irish history, sexuality, Japanese flower arranging, herbal and traditional medicine, and physics. There is a whole room for Science Fiction, as well as a large popular fiction section and a children’s room. Many beautiful old editions of classics make their way to Hard to Find bookstore, those with creased leather covers and faded gold lettering. It’s as though they have made their way back to their ancestral home – temporarily, of course. The selection when we arrived there included impressive editions of Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, George Elliot and Dickens.

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If you have used books to sell, Hard to Find is also the place to visit. Just don’t bring them your well-loved copy of Fifty Shades, or that pile of Listeners that you keep in the garage. Some books, no one really wants. You can also check out their online catalogue of titles on their website, which are stored in Dunedin but can be shipped world-wide. For Dunedinites, there is also a Hard to Find bookshop locally.

You may leave Hard to Find Books feeling a little dazed, and squinting into the light of Onehunga. But that’s only because you’ve been somewhere that pulled you in whole, and you’re reluctant to rejoin the rest of the world again. It will pass – maybe helped along by a strong espresso.

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Photography by IsabellaWeb