Last week I was stumped. As you can probably tell by now I’m a bit of a birthday person and yesterday it was my little sister, Isabel’s 11th birthday. While I had the cake and party food down (as evidenced above) I was completely at a loss for what to buy her as a gift. What do you buy a little girl who is mostly interested in books, Doctor Who and natural disasters and the like?
Obviously a book was going to be a good bet, but my big question was what book? And if I was going to take her to a bookstore, then which one? Whitcoull’s is severely devoid of magic, Border’s is closed and I’ve heard whispers that Dymock’s may have as well. Twitter (and Michelle Langstone aka bookish_awkward) came to the rescue.
Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden still has the magic. Nestled in Mt Eden Village books overflow the shelves, spilling across the store in neat but delightfully irregular piles. The kids section is hidden at the back of the store in a cosy little room, complete with foot stool and there’s a perfect balance of old favourites and newer pop choices. There’s even a book store cat. Issy was in her element and was quite pleased to walk away with three new books.
The experience didn’t stop there however as right next door is another type of magic, a little bit Harry Potter in feel. I’m talking about the Candyman.
The Candyman combines the sort of candy store aesthetic seen in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory witha huge array of home sourced and imported candy. It’s a little bit pricier than the $1 bag from the dairy, but it’s so much more special. The store is so overwhelmingly exciting that you could spend forever just choosing one thing. I picked up a bag of salted cashew nut brittle while Isabel and Lucy and my Mother walked away with imported sour nerds, a bizarre lollipop thing and Sherbet pops.
All up we spent just under an hour perusing books, choosing candy and leaving with a very happy 11 year old (and a slightly jealous 7 year old). It was very successful.
You can find Time Out and The Candyman in the heart of Mt Eden Village on Mt Eden road, it’s across the road from Frasers and down the road from Circus, Circus. ;)