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 Featherston Board of Trustees are: Peter Biggs CNZM (Chair), Lesley Christian (Treasurer), Craig Linkhorn (Secretary), Noelle McCarthy, Liz Mellish, Cheryl Gallaway, Dave Adams, Darrin Goulding and Mary McCallum. 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.
Founding Kaumātua: Lincoln Gould
Featherston Booktown Karukatea
Two cultures share our wonderful country – and region – and, at Featherston Booktown, we seek to recognise and bring that to life. After consulting Mana Whenua, we are proud to reveal the Te Reo expression of Featherston Booktown.
Karukatea means “the clear and observant eye” – with karu the word for “eye” and katea meaning “clarity”. The word takes in the narrative of our region (Wairarapa Moana being one eye of the fish and Wellington Harbour being the other eye of Māui’s fish). On a deeper level, the word also captures the concept of people seeking knowledge and clarity.
Our sincere thanks to Liz Mellish and Robin Potangaroa (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) for their help and guidance through the process of finding an appropriate Te Reo expression of Featherston Booktown.