Ask Tracey Lawton why, in the middle of her busy life, she took on the role of volunteer librarian for the Leigh Library and her answer is immediate.
“I’ve had a lifetime passion for books,” she says.
Tracey grew up spending all her time in the Huntly library and went on to become the librarian at Huntly Primary School.
“And I always read – everything from romance to action stories. I’d read and read and go back and re-read books. I’ve still got them all.”
Nineteen years ago, Tracey and her husband, Kevin, got the lifestyle bug and moved to 3.2ha of land in Rodney Road, Leigh. With two young daughters, Tracey did a variety of jobs from cleaning to stocking shelves.
In 2007 she grabbed the opportunity to be totally involved with books. The developer of the Matakana shops, Richard Didsbury, wanted a bookshop among the boutique-style shops he was planning and was looking for someone to own and run it.
The Village Bookshop was born and soon became an essential and popular local asset.
“I met some amazing people, but the very best part was seeing kids discover the joys of reading,” Tracey says.
When she sold the bookshop, Tracey joined the committee of the Leigh Library.
Tracey takes over as librarian from Dorothy Cooper, who built the library up to the point where it now houses more than 4000 books.
Tracey has plans to expand even further. She has already started buying new books for the children’s section and wants to put in more shelving so that the books are better displayed.