Wainuiomata bookshop has no name, runs at a loss and keeps on operating
A bookshop with no name, losing a $100 a week and being run by a man who can't read any more.
The story of the Homedale bookshop is certainly unusual. Edwin MacKay has collected books for 30 years and used to run a bookshop in Wellington.
Six years ago he relocated to Wainuiomata and with no name or advertising, he struggled to pay his way.
"I run it at a loss. It is just a hobby."
He estimated he had between 40,000 and 50,000 secondhand books, although he admitted he was not really sure.
The large store has books in every nook and cranny, and out the back there are boxes everywhere of unsorted books.
Unable to read due to a stigmatism and glaucoma, he is not online and gets few customers through the door.
A few regulars come from Wellington but other than that, he said it was pretty quiet.
The lack of a name and losing money is not the only unusual aspect of the store.
"I don't really price my books. It is negotiable. I average about a $100 deficit a week. I live on the pension."
So how does he survive?
That is where the story takes an odd turn.
MacKay befriended 50 year-old Paul Croxson, who is unable to read due to learning difficulties.
An avid collector of records, especially LPs, Croxson was living in a sleepout and could not find suitable accommodation due to his record collection.
MacKay took Croxson and his 30,000 records in and keeps a fatherly eye out for him.
The money he pays in board helps MacKay keep the bookshop open.
"You could say he was a friend in need. He was stranded high and dry. It was hard for him to find somewhere with all his records so I took him in. We are an odd partnership alright. He helps me and I help him."
* MacKay's store is in the Homedale Village on the way to the Rimutaka Forest Park.