Open Books


Featherston Booktown

Image by Eugenio Mazzone

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), Craig Linkhorn (Secretary), Noelle McCarthy, Liz Mellish, Cheryl Gallaway, Dave Adams and Mary McCallum. Our Youth Observer is Katie Taylor.  Featherston Booktown's Operations Manager is Mary Biggs and the Accounts/Events Manager is Julie Lewis.


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.

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Founding Kaumātua: Lincoln Gould