MORE than 20 years ago, Rod Berry opened the doors of Pickwick’s Second-hand Bookshop in Kalamunda.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of books have gone through his hands to his loyal customers, who include readers from the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Then there’s the legions of fans in the Hills, Perth suburbs and country WA who travel to his book shop to buy that elusive title they have not been able to find elsewhere or on the internet.
Mr Berry was a former real estate agent in Kalamunda and upon his retirement in 1995, opened Pickwick’s because he had loved books and cricket all his life. He is widely acknowledged as having the biggest cricket book collection in the southern hemisphere.
The iconic book store is now closing and Mr Berry is experiencing mixed emotions.
“Coming in here every day and working here has been a dream and a pleasure,” he said.
“This has not been a job, it has been my passion
“It will be hard to close.
“But there is some good news. In a recent survey, Foyles said that the sales of hardcopy books have surpassed downloads. That has to be good news for old-fashioned book lovers and sellers.”
While some bookstores have gone out of business, others have prospered and for Mr Berry there is still one book-related project to go. At 77, “everyone has a book in them” and he might just have time to start penning the interesting story of his life for his children and grandchildren to read.
Travelling from Africa to Perth, the Yorkshire man and his wife Maureen arrived in 1974 with their children and set up residence in Gooseberry Hill.
An avid cricketer, Mr Berry had a long career at the Kalamunda Cricket Club.
“My paternal and maternal grandparents used to play cricket against each other in the 1890s,” he said.