I opened the Eltham Bookshop 25 years ago this month. As I reflect on our journey so far, I am proud of the success and longevity of my business and feel grateful to be located in such a wonderful suburb.

I started the business to fill a gap in the Eltham Business Centre. It has always been my goal to encourage reading and thinking in our community, and opening the shop was a dream come true. Owning the shop allowed me to be independently employed, and this came with triumphs and challenges.

We have succeeded because we are dedicated to providing the best customer service and always offering a well-curated selection of stock at affordable prices. Our partnerships with local community groups have been another key to our business success. We have been recognised for our success too, with the Australian Booksellers Association presenting us the Best Bookseller Award.

Singularly owning the bookshop for 25 years has taught me a lot about operating a small business and the importance of loyal customer support. For small businesses, every penny counts, and it is often a fine balance of matching financial outlay with your philosophical vision. In the beginning, I learned a lot about how to let people know that the bookshop exists, and I believe perseverance and community connection is key.

As a curious person, I love having conversations with people and selling lots of books about various topics. It has also been very rewarding to train a young staff cohort and watch their skills develop.

I love having my business in Eltham; I love the trees, the fresh air and the community. My customers are kind, responsive, respectful, encouraging, intelligent, loyal and appreciative. I’m proud to be an Elthamite.

– Meera Govil, Eltham Bookshop