Mary Sangster at UBS. by Anne Herbison

Kids who read succeed

It’s a treat to buy books for prize giving every year. This year it was a wonderful surprise to find that the new staff member helping me was a former dux of Riccarton High School.

Mary Sangster was our dux in 1973, winning prizes in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Music. While at school, she was head librarian and played table tennis – another coincidence for me. Mary worked at the Children’s Bookshop for 30 years and is now in charge of the children’s books at UBS as well as the fiction, New Zealand fiction, classics and education books.

This fabulous independent book shop is in our neighbourhood on University Drive. While you might expect it to be stuffed full of academic textbooks and stationery, in fact it has a gorgeous children’s and young adult section, general fiction and nonfiction of all kinds, and other items.

The news this week is that research is finding fewer kids are reading, particularly in their teenage years. Along with our wonderful library, this bookshop is doing its best to reverse that trend.