Love of reading to expand to Toodyay Book Shed

More books: The Morgan family has opened an additional Book Shed, now located in Toodyay. Photo: Eliza Wynn.
More books: The Morgan family has opened an additional Book Shed, now located in Toodyay. Photo: Eliza Wynn.

A Northam-based pre-loved book store has expanded in hopes of sharing the love of reading to those disadvantaged by their location.

The Book Shed and the Book Factory owners Kaz and Paul Morgan, along with son Jack, have expanded their business to their hometown of Toodyay.

The Book Shed Toodyay opened its doors last weekend.

Mrs Morgan, a window dresser and visual merchandiser and her husband, who worked at the WA Museum, bought the Book Shed in Northam in early 2018 before expanding operations to a store on the main street of town, pop-up libraries and community book corners.

Mrs Morgan said some of her fondest memories growing up were going to pre-owned book sales with her mother.

This hobby eventually turned into a living.

"When we first bought the Book Shed people were telling us books were dead," she said.

"I think it is a bit like vinyl - books are having a bit of a resurgence.

"People are starting to realise that reading from a device is not the same as reading from a book. I've never read off a device and I don't plan to - I like the feel and the smell."

Mrs Morgan said the family's passion for sharing the love of reading had expanded over the years - so much so that they decided to open a third store.

"We wanted to start the next business in Toodyay, because we are from here," she said.

"A lot of our customers in Northam come from Toodyay and had mentioned the idea but we had always thought it was a cost thing. This building came up and it happened to work for us.

"There's a quote from Tim Winton that says 'book shops are not in it for commerce, we are in it for culture'.

"What we put on our shelves determines what people are going to read. We spend a lot of time curating what is on the shelves."

Situated on the main street of Toodyay, the Book Shed store will feature an array of genres and titles.

Mrs Morgan said plans to continue to expand the Book Shed were not slowing down.

"We just want to get books out there for people who don't get to the shops," she said.

"Their only trip for the week could be to the doctors office, so why not have a community library there? We want to get books to as many people as possible and we have enough books to do it.

"We're really keen keen to create some street libraries around the place, with the help of local Maren Lavery and Wheatbelt Health Network promotions officer Anna Cornish."

There is currently a pop-up library at the Hill Cafe and books for sale from the Book Shed at Laura's Wine Bar.