Meet the Bookseller with Alexa Dretzke from Readings Hawthorn
We chat with Alexa Dretzke from Readings Hawthorn about books without words, The Hunger Games and the eternal appeal of Pippi Longstocking.
Why do you work in books?
To work, surrounded by the dreams, ideas and creativity of authors and artists, is never dull. As a buyer, choosing the books is always interesting and promoting children’s books is fun and rewarding.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
A wordless picture book may seem a peculiar choice but A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, which won the prestigious Caldecott medal this year, has so much to read in it. This delightful tale of a dog and her ball captures her many emotions with deceptive simplicity and exuberant charm. My choice for a ‘word’ book is John Green’s young adult novel The Fault in our Stars which, in a word, is wonderful.
What have you noticed people buying lately?
You guessed it, The Hunger Games, and yes, it is unputdownable!!!
What’s the strangest experience you have had in a bookshop?
Finding a poo in the kids’ section and I didn’t need The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (picture book) to work out which creature it came from!!!
What’s the best experience you’ve had in a bookshop?
Not the above, obviously. But some of the fun ones we have are when customers have a hazy idea of what a title might be. For example, a customer wanted a title along the lines of ‘Clare’s Spleen’. Hmmm, an unusual name for a kids’ book. Do you mean Clarice Bean?
What was your favourite book as a kid?
So many favourites but I guess I’ll have to go with Pippi Longstocking which, having reread recently, is still wonderful and Pippi is inspirational. Every child needs Pippi in their life and the recent edition with Lauren Child’s illustrations is a perfect match.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Louise Loves Art
Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods
The Dying of the Light
To This Day
Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
Apple and Rain
Look into My Eyes
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book?
Utterly Me, Clarice Bean
Clarice Bean Spells Trouble
The Princess and the Pea
Who Wants to be a Poodle? I Don’t!
But Excuse Me That is My Book