‘Devastated’: Corrie Perkin announces closure of Hawksburn bookshop

Bookshop owner Corrie Perkin is closing her independent bookstore after 12 years, a victim of COVID-19 lockdowns and lease negotiations.

Despite parts of the book industry profiting from the pandemic, four lockdowns proved too much for Perkins’ My Bookshop on Malvern Road in Hawksburn.

Corrie Perkin in her Hawksburn store.

“It’s really sad,” Perkin told CBD. “The customers are devastated, we are devastated, my family is devastated.”

“When people aren’t going in your door and spending, it puts extra pressure on your personal finances and your business finances.

“If there was a promise that for the rest of the year we would be free of any more lockdowns, then I would take the gamble.”

The business will continue online at mybookshop.com.au as will Perkin’s highly-regarded author interviews. Events will transfer to neighbouring Cafe Latte in Hawksburn.

Perkins has been approached to stage author interviews as part of corporate events, and she will also continue The Book Pod podcast and the Don’t Shoot the Messenger podcast that she co-hosts with Age football columnist Caroline Wilson.

“What I want to keep doing is bringing writers and readers together. I have loved hearing bookworms – our customers – connect with authors.”

Perkin, 60, daughter of former editor of The Age Graham Perkin, who died when she was a teenager, had a notable career in journalism and was the first woman to cover an AFL season in 1981. She also worked at The Australian and won a Quill award for her bushfire coverage before realising a long-held dream to run a bookshop.

“It was looking really good at the start of last year,” Perkin says.

She decided to close the shop one month ago, fearful of the damage another potential lockdown would do. Victoria’s fourth lockdown began a few weeks later.

Perkin told customers in an email: “We are very sad to have to close our store – four lockdowns, recent unsuccessful lease renegotiations and a keen desire to pay our bills rather than continue on the debt train, have forced our hand.”

The shop will close in the next few weeks after more than a decade which Perkin described as “an incredible journey and a deeply fulfilling chapter in our life story”.

The future is going to be “exciting, inclusive, enlightening, provocative, inspiring and fun – and it costs nothing” she said.

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