On my recent road trip around New Zealand, I stumbled upon what has to be the smallest bookstore that I have ever visited. The owners of the Twizel Bookshop describe their homey establishment as “a little shop, in a little town, close to the mountains and pretty far from everywhere.” Within sight of Mt. Cook, or Aoraki in Te Reo, this miniature bookstore in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps measures a mere 12 square meters. But this little indie packs a world of literature in a tiny space. Utilizing every bit of their retail space adjacent to Twizel’s popular Hyrdo Café coffee shop, this charming store manages to be the soul of the town’s reading community.
I was impressed with Twizel Bookshop’s dedication to its customers. They host a regular reading group, maintain special hours so local school children can visit before catching the bus to their distant homes, and they also maintain “credit” accounts so the kids can pick-up books when they have no money with them.