International writer Kelly Rimmer now bookshop owner in Orange NSW

Kelly Rimmer buys bookshop

An author of international acclaim has decided to make the transition from writing books to selling them too after buying her regional community’s last bookshop.

Collins Booksellers in Orange in NSW Central West was founded 22 years ago by residents Margaret and Phil Schwebel.

New owner and New York Times bestselling author Kelly Rimmer didn’t want to see the city’s last bookshop close down or ownership move out of the region.

“It really matters to me and my family that the Orange bookstore is owned by people who live in Orange or close to Orange,” she said.

“It’s always been a family store. And so there’s something really, really unique and special about continuing that tradition too.”

Ms Rimmer, whose books include The Things We Cannot Say and The Warsaw Orphan, plans to get her whole family, including her children, involved in running the shop.

“I think there’s something powerful for kids about being surrounded by books in a bookstore or in their home,” she said.

“I hope that they come to see that literacy and reading really matter and that the right book at the right time can actually change someone’s life.”

Ms Rimmer said books were an important part of her own childhood, which led to her decision to buy the shop.

“I was a kid who felt very disconnected and quite isolated at times, and it was reading and storytelling that connected me to the broader community but also helped me to understand myself,” she said.

“I’ve seen how much great books and great storytelling can help a person.”