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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wellington's much-loved indie bookstore

On Thursday, Unity Books was abruptly flooded out.  Workmen stripping walls in the level above inadvertently released a water pipe, which sprang out, broke, and let forth a deluge of truly Biblical proportions.  Thousands of new books were destroyed, mostly in the storeroom where recently delivered stock was held.

The shop was closed, while the staff worked long and hard to carry salvageable books outside, and into an empty shop next door, and cramming what furniture they could into the dry front half of the store.  And at day's end, something amazing happened. The staff refused to go home.  Instead they stayed, to keep on working.

And they were joined by former staff members, Unity "old girls," who came not just to help, but with plates of food.  Nearby cafes, where the staff grab their lunches and teas, sent over trays of free treats, as did the Metro supermarket across the road. A former deputy mayor popped in with a plate of home-baked biscuits.

"We're awash with food," said owner, Tilly Lloyd. "It's sort of like when a family member dies. It tells us that people see Unity Books as slightly human and not just a shop, and we really appreciate that."

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