Smith’s Bookshop was established by AD Smith in 1894. The location of the first shop is not known but for many years it’s home was at 133 Manchester Street. Many will recall Norm and Rangi Oberg, the owners from 1967, and the three story building over-flowing with books, maps, sheet music and ephemera.
Ross Humphries, Norm Oberg’s son-in-law took over the store in the 1980’s and in 1999 Barry Hancox became the new owner. Sadly the February 2011 earthquakes severely damaged the building and it was demolished. Barry moved the business to the recently opened Tannery Emporium, retaining the trade in second hand books but expanding the operations to include new books, an on-line business and a NZ Post outlet. In addition Barry took over Cadsonbury Press, giving Smith’s a publishing arm.
After twenty years Barry retired and sold to Alan Direen and Tony Murdoch who have determined to maintain the Smith’s ethos of buying and selling books, magazines, maps and other ephemera. Minor changes to the shop layout have met with approval from many customers and both have been humbled by the warmth of the comments about Smith’s and the need to “keep it going.”
Alan said, “ … we feel we are part of the history of Christchurch and we are both determined to keep Smith’s as it always been – a haven for book lovers.”