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BRAITHWAITE’S BOOK ARCADE.

Mr J. Braithwaite’s business caieer in Dun* edin dates from the time of the mining rush to Otago, not much short of thirty years ago. He began in a little shop about 12ft x 12ft in what was then known as Farley’s Arcade. Even at that early date Mr Braitbwaite somehow or other possessed the fortunate gift of anticipating public requirements, and his bookstall—for it was scarcely worthy the name of a shop—was generally a place where the latest publications were obtainable. When the owner rebuilt tbs Arcade in brick Mr Braitbwaite shifted to one of the High stre t corners, and remained there until about five years ago, having during his twenty-four years’ experience in the Arcade established his position, and at last arrived at the conclusion that if he would keep abreast of the times he must launch out into a more extended enterprise in the main thoroughfare. The business has from the first grown steadily but on a safe ba is, and to-day Mr Braithwaite is in possession of bo-inert premises which, as compared with bia original shop, are as the proverbial guinea and gooseberry. The progress of the business is in proportion to the growth of Diluedin during these twenty-eight or more years, and to-day the “horseshoe” stands as the sign of perhaps the busiest shop in Princes street. Braitnwaite’s “Book Arcade,” as the place is now called, is to Dunedin what Cole’s Book Arcade is to Melbourne: an establishment where the latest as well as the rarest current works are kept in i stock; and besides the many thousands of books in all bianchcs of literature, from the penny spelling book to the most costly presentation volume, Mr Braithwaite shows the public an immense assort m nt of hncy goods. This has been the case ever since the Princes street house was opened; but it is only during the past week that arrangements have been completed for properly setting out the wares and accommodating the crowds that throng the avenues from morning till night. The alteration consists of the inclusion of what was known as Laurenson’s premises, immediately to the south of and adjoining the original frontage. The front of the old ehop has been replaced by a pair of handsome windows and a wide door, and the extended space not only permits of a stricter classification of the several departments, but also admits more light, and allows some of the divisions to be enlarg'd. The Arcade now measures about 100 ft by 65ft, and it is the largest b:ok, stationery, and fancy goods warehouse in the colony. About two-thirds of the space is taken up with books. In the space at our disposal we cannot even give a complete list of the headings under which the books are arranged ; but a few of the leading lines may be noticed. In the first place, Mr Braithwaite has considerably extended his stock of educational works. What with high school scholars and university students, and the pupils and teachers of the primary schools, there is in Dunedin a great demand for the latest and best publications for the use of both teachers and taught; and this demand bog been supplied by the importation of a huge collection of standard works in all branches. It is pleasing to observe that the part of the Arcade in which these books are placed is alwaye we] I patronised, even by these who go through the shop mer. ly to have a look round, while the sales are quite up to expectations. Music ia another department to which special prominence is now given; and this is an improvement that will doubtless receive the commendation of the ladies. Dunedin has a reputation for possessing a population containing a largo percentage of musical people; and there ia little fear that the venture in this direction will lead to disappointing results The third of the departments on which special attention is now bestowed is that of artists’ materials, of which a large assortment now awaits

purchasers. Brashes and colors are for the roost part put away in drawers, bnt a handsome cabinet, with glass front, al'ows specimens to be inspected. The stock of boys’ and girls’ presentation books is ne tly arranged in shelves at the back of the shop, and forms ore of the features of the establishment; religious publi-

cations are another specialty, there being a varied assortment of hymn boots and standard theological works; books on history, travel, horses, cattle, sheep, poultry, and many other subjects are carefully arranged so as to be found at a moment’s notice; there is a fire collection of scientific and technical publications; and as to the fiction department, one part of the premises is a perfect sea of yellowbacks. Mr Braitbwaite also intends to add a department for second-hand books. The carpenters will have this ready in a day or two. Tho stationery and fancy goods are now shifted to the northern end of the premises, and make a capital display. We see beautiful albums at all prices, choice ornaments in china and glassware, photographs by the million, and .scores of things intended either for rue or ornament. Mr Braitbwaite has earned and will doubtless gain adequate support from the public.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890601.2.26

Bibliographic details

BRAITHWAITE’S BOOK ARCADE., Issue 7922, 1 June 1889

Word Count
879

BRAITHWAITE’S BOOK ARCADE. Issue 7922, 1 June 1889

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