Lookety look, it’s Bookety Book Books

A lockdown passion project which highlights authors from Aotearoa New Zealand, both emerging and established.

Words Jonathan Mahon-Heap

The shop so nice, they named it thrice.

Before there is legislation in place that makes it illegal to recommend A Little Life yet again, we’ve all had to make merry with friends foisting their book club recommendations upon us.

No more. Bookety Book Books is a curated online bookstore by fiction aficionado, Mandy Myles, launching this week. One of those rare finds, a lockdown passion project, writ large, Myles told INDEX she created Bookety “as a curated selection to take away the overwhelming nature of how many books are out there, we’re so overwhelmed in every aspect of our everyday lives… it’s quite nice to remove that for some people.” 

Starting with snippet reviews to break up her feed, Myles created a separate account after positive feedback, with a goal “to encourage more reading” among her peers. The highlight? People who wouldn’t have thought to read a book messaging me to say how much they enjoyed something I recommended. We talk a lot about the ways in which social media builds an online community; but what are these communities for, and who is in them?

With her page, Myles has hit a note many New Zealanders are playing, especially thanks to the bookselling-soar amid Covid-19. “It’s not everything for everyone — but a really diverse author base”, is how Myles describes the collection which highlights authors from Aotearoa both emerging and established: “If someone has liked something they’ve seen on my page, they’ll likely enjoy 99 per cent of the other books I’ve recommended.”

Turning casual scrollers into full-blown bookworms has been a joy for her particularly: “That’s what it’s about, creating an online community, that’s the most positive part.” So put down your phone and go take a lookety look look.

karl lagerfeld

Photo of Karl Lagerfeld’s library by Todd Selby.

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