Auckland's much-loved Hard to Find bookshop in Onehunga has closed down, but is reopening in a Catholic convent across town in Newton.
Owner Warwick Jordan said he shed a tear when his bookshop of 35 years in the Onehunga Mall closed yesterday, but feels like he has found the promised land at St Benedicts St in Newtown.
Faced with a massive rent hike, Jordan set about fundraising on the website Givealittle last year to save the store. He raised about $27,000, but it wasn't enough to keep the doors open.
Luckily for Jordan the Catholic Church came to his aid by offering him an empty and rundown convent, including a chapel named after Mary MacKillop, an Australian nun who lived there and was made a saint by the church.
He said he has used the $27,000 to buy 2km of timber for shelving, and had spent about $100,000 refurbishing the convent.
His stock of thousands of secondhand books of nearly every genre or subject imaginable has moved to the shop, which he hopes will become a new destination for people hunting for obscure titles, or others looking to sell their dusty book collections when it opens tomorrow.
A post of the Onehunga shop's Facebook page said lovely customers surprised staff on the last day with morning tea, and contained a message "Thank you Onehunga!"