This month’s Bookseller in Spotlight is Andy Durkin from Petrarch’s Bookshop.

How did you get into bookselling?

I married into a bookshop family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband – but the bookshop is a pretty good bonus!

What do you love most about being a bookseller?

I love seeing the same happy faces time after time – book people are the best people!

What’s your pet peeve about book retail?

Have you ever had a sticker that just wouldn’t peel off something?

What can publishers do better?

Publishers do a great job, keep it up! This being said, we’d love a few more fabulous fiction books set in Tasmania.

Has bookselling changed in recent years/during coronavirus?

We did take our first step away from bricks and mortar and create a transactional website! Besides this, life was pretty normal in Tasmania for most of COVID.

What kinds of books do you gravitate towards?

Australian fiction, especially Australian crime (think Jane Harper, Christian White, Chris Hammer), but I’m pretty happy to read anything with a good story and strong characters.

Is there a book that you think everyone should read?

This is like asking me who my favourite child is! They are all my favourites, but if you’d like me to name a few books I have loved: Bruny by Heather Rose, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

What was the last interaction with a customer that made you laugh?

The very persistent and patient primary school boy who visited me every week while he waited on the latest Wings of Fire. I’ll miss my weekly visitor, let’s hope he finishes it quickly!

What is a recent Australian title you loved?

WAKE by Shelley Burr, Unforgiven by Sarah Barrie and I’m currently reading Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson.