Hedley’s Books is the oldest family-owned independent bookstore in New Zealand

Hedley's Books 1907 Brand Mark in Aubergine
Sepia photograph of Hedley's Books founder William posing with wife Kate

From humble beginnings selling newspapers from the back of a pushbike in 1907, to its form as part lending library during the second world war, to the flourishing independent book business it is today – our family has, for over 113 years, been passionate about bringing stories from the world to our readers.

Photo: Our founder and grandfather William Hedley with his wife Kate.

Hedley’s Books has remained in our family throughout its history, with the next generation taking over from the one before it, and many family members lending a hand along the way. We’ve survived through good times, such as the wool boom of the 1950s and the buoyant 1970s and 1980s to the bad times: two world wars, two major pandemics, depressions, recessions; the advent of competition like television, radio and the internet. All thanks to the support of our wider family – our local community – and their love of reading.

Photo: Alex Hedley who took over from William upstairs at 150 Queen St.
Black and white photograph of second generation Hedley's Books owner Alex Hedley holding a stack of books upstairs at Hedley's Books

As a family, we remain resolutely committed to print – we believe in books and their ability to inspire, reduce stress and enrich peoples’ lives. We believe books and reading are for everyone, and it’s our commitment to match anyone who walks through our doors (or browses our website) with the right stories for them. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than a great book.

Photo: Current owner David Hedley with his daughter Anna Hedley who shares the family’s love of books.