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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

World's largest floating bookstore

I can't believe that the newspapers have been so quiet about it (or perhaps I wasn't reading them properly, it being school mid-winter vacation time, with attendant influx of delightful but time-consuming visitors) -- but while drifting into harbor on the East-West ferry, I spied a gorgeous old ship docked at Queen's Wharf with a huge sign floating high that bore the magic words "BOOK FAIR."

The ship's name is MV Douros, and - or so I found with a hunt through the internet, including Wotz On in Wellington - it is the world's oldest active passenger ship with the world's largest floating bookshop. She has stopped at over 500 ports of call, but almost decided against Wellington, as the weather forecast was so breezy -- or so the captain, New Zealander Graeme Bird, reported. Fervent prayers did the trick. The gales moderated, and a safe anchorage was made. All Wellingtonians wish that the ship, plus prayers, would make a permanent berth here!

Seriously, MV Douros is a floating book fair, with over 6,000 titles for sale -- quality books, in a range of genres. Staffed by over 300 volunteers, the ship is a charity that works mostly in the developing world, to provide good educational literature. The crew is multinational, and keen to share their cultures with visitors, who can board the ship at any time from dawn to dusk, at no cost.

1 comment:

Sue G/USA said...

This is very cool! Wouldn't I like to be involved with this!