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4 December, 2020

Time for a new chapter

Andrew and Kerstin Brown are ready for a new chapter in their lives as they plan to retire and sell their business, Collins Booksellers in Smithfield, which they opened 33 years ago.

By Tanya Murphy

Originally from England and Sweden, Andrew and Kerstin have lived in Cairns since 1974 and owned AB Books in Smithfield for nine years before starting Collins Booksellers.

Mr and Mrs Brown said the store would close in late January if no buyer could be found.

“Over the years we’ve seen generations of families coming back to the store and have met some really lovely people,” she said.

“We’re grateful to the local community for supporting our shop over the years.”

Mrs Brown said they were looking forward to having more time to read for pleasure and relax.

“We’ve got a couple of acres and I love gardening and growing vegetables and doing arts and crafts.

“We’ll be able to see the family more and get involved in the community.”

Mrs Brown said books had remained as popular as ever over the decades.

“I don’t think e-books had as big of an impact on books as was expected, because people like having a real book,” she said.

“Plus, books make great gifts. And with reference books and textbooks, people like to make notes and see pictures and browse the pages.”

She said their shop was busier than ever during COVID-19.

“Books are a great way to keep both adults and children entertained without having to go outside,” she said.

Mrs Brown said her favourite book was ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak while Mr Brown said his favourite book series was the classic ‘Alexandria Quartet’ by Lawrence Durrell, or any science
fiction book.

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