Bookseller spotlight: Holly Eggert from Berkelouw Books Cronulla
What’s the first book that you remember having an impact on you?
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I remember reading it cover to cover, and then repeating. I felt such a strong connection to Blume’s writing and how she made the characters feel like friends.
Who were some of your favourite authors as a child?
I adored Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Dick King-Smith, and Jacqueline Wilson. I often go back and read books by these authors when I need a pick-me-up. They remind me why I have loved books for so long.
How long have you been working at your bookstore? Can you tell us about the store and the community it serves?
I’ve been at Berkelouw Cronulla for nearly two years. Being a beachside bookshop, each day is different as it all depends on the weather. We sell a lot of giftware as well as a wide selection of books. We are very lucky to be a part of a tight-knit community with regular customers, as well as people visiting for a holiday. You never know who you are going to meet!
What drew to you becoming a bookseller?
My love of all thinks bookish. I honestly can’t picture myself doing anything else. I really am in my dream job.
What did an average day look like for you pre-COVID? And post-COVID?
Pre-COVID: Receiving and shelving stock, processing supplier returns, giving recommendations, merchandising.
Post-COVID: We are lucky because we only had to shut our doors for a few days during the beginning of the pandemic, so the only major thing that has changed for us is the health and safety measures that we have put in place to stop the spread.
What’s the best part about being a bookseller?
I am very passionate about introducing somebody to what could be their new favourite book. Talking about my best-loved reads with another person is very magical, and the magic increases tenfold when they take it upon themselves to read one of them.
Any memorable customer interactions?
That’s a tough one. The two most recent memorable interactions would have to be either last week when a lovely lady asked me if we had any books written by the author Harry Potter, or when a gentleman came in and exclaimed, “it’s a bit like a library in here, isn’t it?!”
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in bookselling?
Interact with other booksellers, bookshops, and authors – social media is a great way to do that. Never be afraid to ask questions; I’ve been a bookseller for nine years and I still learn something new from the book community every single day.
Who are some of your favourite Australian authors?
Most recently I have really enjoyed Craig Silvey and Markus Zusak.
Do you have any favourite UQP titles?
How can we follow your bookstore online?
Our Instagram is @berkelouwbookscronulla, and we don’t just post photos of our books and giftware – we also share snaps of the four-legged friends that drop by with their owners! #dogsofberkelouwcronulla