Open Books


Featherston Booktown

What is a Booktown?


A Booktown is a small rural town or village, close to major cities, in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Booktowns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty.  Their residents set up events around books - selling them, writing, reading, illustrating, printing, making and publishing them.


The first was set up in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, back in 1961. Now they're around the World, from Europe to Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Australia. The International Organisation of Booktowns binds the towns together.

Featherston became a full member of the International Organisation of Booktowns in 2018.

The Team

The Featherston Board of Trustees are: Peter Biggs CNZM (Chair), Lesley Christian (Treasurer), Kate Mead, Ross Vickery, Noelle McCarthy, Liz Mellish, Cheryl Gallaway, and Mary McCallum. Featherston Booktown's Operations Manager is Mary Biggs.


The prolific, widely-published and much-celebrated writer, Joy Cowley, is the Patron of Featherston Booktown. Featherston Booktown's Founding Kaumātua, Lincoln Gould, was the Board's original Chair from 2014-2017.

Founding Kaumātua: Lincoln Gould