Last Chance to See :(

WHEN WE BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT OPENING A BOOKSHOP, it was foremost in our minds that there might be a lot of people out there who were looking for a place of peace and sanity in a world of noise and nonsense. It has been truly humbling to be the recipients of so much appreciation for our efforts so far. It also needs to be said that it is immensely invigorating to know that there are so many awe-inspiring individuals in this growing, (dare I say it?), Embiggening community.

So to all of the people who have taken the time to write to us about our closing, we are touched, moved and humbled beyond words. It is most gratifying to know that we have been able to make a contribution to so many lives but also gut-wrenching to be letting down such an exceptional community. Sadly, we have been unable to reply individually to all of our supporters and well-wishers. We thought that it might be interesting to share their thoughts. Below is one letter which really does seem to say it all, plus a random smattering from other emails that we have received since announcing our closure. It has been our honour and our pleasure and hopefully we will see a few more of you in these last days or for our farewell party on the 20th of March. And obviously stay posted for our possible resurrection details in Melbourne (should we manage to successfully navigate this next thing).


Can you get me a copy of “Mysteries of the cosmic entity: how astrology, crystals and numerology have saved the planet” by Angel Stardust??…….just kidding.

Warren and Kirsty, you have, and are fulfilling, a critical and important role in our small community. Elevating the conversation to a level that was seriously lacking before your arrival in town.

Your departure is a major loss. But your legacy is a local community of scholars, thinkers, humanists and closet atheists who have emerged from the underground and who are invigorated and much better for your having been here. They will continue to support each other now…. and we/they will be ever thankful for your vision and forbearance – for taking the risks and showing the leadership in an otherwise conservative, myopic and selfish community.

I have always said that the Embiggen Bookshop reminds me of the Red and Black Bookstore in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane in the 1960’s and 1970’s – not so much for the similarity of the written words inside (although there was a big overlap), but for the revolutionary aura, the black caps with the red star, the passionate pursuit of an ideology and the lurking around of various ne’er do wells who were obviously plotting to overthrow the status quo……go you good thing!

It has been a great pleasure to meet you both, to witness the birth of your bookstore and the arrival of Monty and, hopefully to continue a friendship beyond your departure from Gnuthera.

— Cheers Peter


I’m pretty sure you’ve embiggened my old brain over the past two years and I thank you for that. Noosa is just so stupid to let you go. Expect panic book buying from the diehards like me before you go —Tony

Somehow, I don’t think you’ll be the only ones closing their doors this year. Bloody crying shame. It really was the best bookshop of its kind I have ever seen. It will go really well in Melbourne. I think there is a bit of a myth about Noosa. Sadly, the people with all the money are the white shoe brigade, the vast majority of whom can barely grunt their own name — Annette

I’m sure this is one of many replies you are receiving giving support. Personally, while the circumstances of your leaving are not happy ones, I’m hopeful that you will make an enormous impact if when the Brisbane transfer is successful. Your principled stand is worth both applauding and lamenting, if only for the sense of the ridiculous the alternative would have been — Peter

Such sad news! We loved having your classy bookstore in town — Jan

orrrrr fuck it!!! — Bruce

Best wishes to you and I hope your worthy enterprise will be rewarded in Brisbane — Janet

I am sorry to hear that your awesome book store is closing down. But on a positive note, I was happy to hear that you may be opening a shop in Brisbane. I can relate, I spent the first 28 years of my life on the sunshine coast and although I loved it there, I eventually had to move to Brisbane for work. In short, when you do make the move, you’ll have a regular customer — Peter

Sorry to hear the news, you have a top store — Ken

Really sorry to hear this sad news. My partner and I only stumbled upon your store recently so it comes at a real shock to hear of your difficulties. I look forward to meeting up again in Brisbane and coming to some Embiggen talks. Good luck with the new store, it will be totally cromulent!! — Harry

Such sad news. We discovered your shop in January when we were visiting my partners parents and fell in love with it – yay, it felt like something interesting and cultured had finally hit the area. We are from Melbourne, where we are truly spoilt for choice with many great independant bookstores BUT none with such an eclectic collection of science books/steam punk models. The book, that I had to buy was Wicked Weeds, which has come out during many a winters dinner party this year. I look forward to hearing about you opening another store, very soon — Natasha

I am disappointed that you have made this decision to move. However I am happy to learn you are just relocating and I wish you both the absolute best in your new venture — Michelle

I briefly visited your store two years ago when I was promoting my book “The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean.” The location/space/design/materials were a delight to discover and I’m sorry to learn that you’re closing. Keep up the independent fight! — Joel

I just wanted to say how much I appreciated what you achieved at Embiggen Books and how valuable I believe the mission you shared was and continues to be — Jan

Sad to see you go……wishing you well for the next chapter! — Olga

Commercial imperatives aside, you have filled a gap that needed filling. Best wishes for every success, tangible and intangible, in the future — Win

I will follow you where ever you may go. (Know that song?) — Vicki

I am so sorry to hear about your closing. I love your book shop, it is inspiring and such a beautiful place to attend and buy books from. Warren has helped me sourcing books, and I am very grateful for that. I do hope you can change your mind but if the marketplace is down, it is down and people make other choices re: spending … Such a shame — Snehi

That’s sad — Wayne

I’m sorry to hear that you are closing in Noosaville but can understand why. I hope all goes well with your plans for Brisbane. Thanks for what you are doing and for your newsletters keeping those who are interested informed of happenings and developments. I enjoyed the few events I was able to attend and wish you all the best in your new endeavours — Barry

I am distraught, good luck in whatever you do. May I offer my professional services to you. I have been in consulting for over 20 years in all sizes and types of businesses. My services are provided to small businesses at no charge. Just let me know if you would like to try it out. First step spend one hour with me, both of you — Brian

David and I are so sorry that you will be closing Embiggen Books. It was a bookstore of great quality and whenever we went in we found at least one book that was irresistible. We loved the tall bookshelves and atmosphere conducive to browsing and thinking. We also went to several stimulating talks by other writers. We wish you all the best in Brisbane but hope that you might re open up here as well. You will be sadly missed in this community —Kristin

Warren had told me of your intentions to close and move to Brisbane – that will obviously be better for you guys and Embiggen Books, but it is desperately sad for the Sunshine Coast. Country areas, and I consider the Sunshine Coast as country area, are deprived in the extreme of outlets such as Embiggen Books and have almost no access to the powerful minds that you regularly brought to the coast. Your shop and the unique service you provided will be sadly missed, by some — Robert

I’m really sorry to hear you are closing down, you have a wonderful bookstore which I did not get to visit often enough, however as a Brisbane resident I am very excited you will be opening a new store down here! Please keep me posted as I will be visiting more frequently once your established here in Brisbane — Elana

Warren and Kirsty. Very sad news as we have only just discovered your wonderful shop — Stephen and Fiona

ALL THE BEST! We will miss you and our long talks with you, Warren! You are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. So we hope to have your new Brisbane address so we can come visit when down in the big city! — Kate and Alex

Thank you Warren and Kirsty. We will be in to stock up for overseas reading in next week or two & wish you well. I hoped the Noosa market would support the intellectual items you offered, but as you noted times changed with the incredible deceit and dishonesty the money market used to fill their pockets. Unfortunately it still goes on, and we need to realise that democracy, while a preferred form of government by most, is far from perfect, and easily manipulated by these same people. Politics has little time for altruism and honesty; 99% of the time those elected are their for personal gain..as with the money market — Tony

I was so sad to read of the proposed closure of your beautiful store. When we were in Noosa on holiday last year we felt that we had struck gold when we found Embiggen Books. Sadly, the death of my husband earlier this year has meant that we were unable to visit you again. Please let me know when and where you will be opening in Brisbane, as I know I shall enjoy visiting your new bookstor — Gael

Good luck and keep me posted of your new shop in Brisbane. I live on the Gold Coast so you would be closer — Jacki

We are so sorry to hear that you will be closing down. You have provided such a valuable and much appreciated community service way beyond just being an excellent bookstore. You will be missed and you have enabled many local and esteemed authors to launch their books and photographers to showcase their work, in a special way that has brought many people together. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family every success in your new venture and thank you for what you have done for Noosa. It will not have been in vain — Kay and Mike

Sorry to hear this. I am sure you will be a success in the more populous Brisbane! — Kate

What a great loss to our community I am so sorry that such a great asset is lost to the monopolies of sameness thank for your efforts in trying and hope you can return soon keep up the good work wherever you go and maybe a great web connect site will keep all in touch with a touch of educated philosophy and science so missing in the retail market up here thanks again — Leonie

We are truly sorry to be losing you and wish we could do something to help. We love your shop as there is nothing to compare with it on the Sunshine Coast. It was such a brave move to offer so many quality books accompanied by so much knowledge and passion. There is so much boring, uni-dimensional “literature” around, that we were delighted when we came to realise what you guys had to offer. We will certainly be in before Xmas – where else can we buy our xmas gift books for each other? — Michelle and Ross

I’m really sad to hear your news. I can’t begin to imagine what a difficult decision this has been for you. Of couse I wish you luck and joy for your continuing project — Maddie

So sad. So much potential. So many powerful things working against you. I admire your courage in hanging in there for as long as you have under such tough economic conditions. And I thank you sincerely for your dreams and aspirations and what you brought to the residents of Noosa. Your efforts and hard work were truly appreciated by many – but not many enough, unfortunately. Embiggen, and both of you and Monty, will be sadly missed – probably a lot more than we all realize right now. It’s not until something’s gone that you really understand its value — Raynette

I regret that was not able to support you more, as you endeavoured to enrich our community culturally, with considerable style and initiative. You certainly had a great range of intelligent books. Please let me know where you re-establish yourselves in Brisbane. I hope your little family finds Brisbane a bigger market for your business, and that perhaps in better times you can return to Noosa — Joan

Thank you for taking the time to write your email and I am sorry to hear you’re leaving the coast. I certainly do wish you well and hope you continue with your dreams and that 2011 is a great year for you. Thank you for stocking our book – we too have appreciated your support — Judy

Very sad that Embiggen-1 will be no more but am selfishly happy that Embiggen-2 will be closer for me to visit — Mandy

I am sorry to hear that. I have always thought what you guys have been doing has been great — Phillip

Although we are 10,000 miles away, we are deeply sorry to hear your news. We do hope that the new venue in Brisbane proves more successful, and you can build an identical community around you — Ann & Ken

I am so sorry to hear you will be closing shop. I have always enjoyed the discussion afternoons which you have offered to us and the quality of your book selection has impressed me offering much of interest to discuss with friends. I shall miss not having a book shop such as yours in our local community . I am always sad to see a “shop with a difference” close so I wish you well for your “new adventure” . Goodness knows where we shall now go for our inspirational discussions! — Shirley

I have enjoyed visiting your store in Noosaville, but having just returned to Brisbane myself last year I am very happy to hear you may open a store in Brisbane and can’t wait for your opening and hoping you will continue to hold high-quality talks in your new location — Cheryl

I am so sorry to hear that you guys had to make this decision, but am (selfishly, I know) excited by the prospect of the shop relocating to Brisbane. Let me know if there’s anything we can do to help out — Sharon

I am sorry to hear that your enterprise has not worked out successfully in business terms. We had five years of lack of such success with a retail nursery in Noosa in the 1990s. So I feel your anguish of when “the numbers don’t add up” and an alternative needs to be found despite ones enthusiasm and continuous seven-day-a-week effort — Nick

What devastating news. This is very sad for noosa. Your shop will be missed! Best of luck. I will visit in Brisbane — Claire

Sorry!!! Looking forward to visiting Embiggen in Brisbane some day — Kent

All the best with your future plans. We will look forward to the day when Embiggen Books reopens — Liz

May I wish you and the business every success in Brisbane. I know from many people who attended your splendid evenings appreciated how creative and challenging some of the evenings were. May we hopefully see you establish your business in Noosa at a later date.Your business was unique — B

It is sad indeed but with tenacity (which you have to have in the first place to open your own business) you will succeed in the future. Only those people who have ever owned their own business know the heartbreak and effort and sleepless nights that abound — Kate & Keith

I wish you the very best and hope to see you in Brisbane. The GFC has hit many people hard. I admire very greatly your drive and I share your passion for promoting reason. I know you will be welcomed warmly by our little but growing group of heathens here in Brisbane if and when you make the move here — Maria

Please do let me know if you re-open in Brisbane. Living in Mackay, obviously, I have not been a frequent visitor to your shop, however, I have ordered on-line and have sent other people your way and will/would continue to do so. The thought you both put into what to stock on your shelves is what set you apart as a bookstore — Therese

All the best in you new venture. We have loved shopping in your bookshop — Glenda and Mike

Thanks for helping keep community intelligence and inquiry alive and well! You just can’t sink without a trace and we’re eagerly anticipating – nay, chafing at the bit for your next incarnation. This will be a real loss – sorry to see that Brisbane isn’t a likely new nest but I have my fingers crossed. Thanks for the wonderful adventures on the bookshelves – hope the new enterprise thrives exceedingly — Jan and Gary

Thank you “Embiggen”. Think of you three with admiration and warmth.You always made us feel special too. I wish you a new year full of challenges and successes — Gwen

Good luck in whatever you do. Your going is a loss to Noosa — Bev

It is such a great loss for Noosa and for your grateful customers to face the reality that we all will have to exist without Emiggen Books to remind us that there is a caring intellectually aware world out there providing wisdom to us all through the printed pages to of so many wonderful books. When you both opened Emiggen few failed to recognize it as a brave and courageous quest that set an intellectual standard not found in any other book shop in the Sunshine Coast or even Brisbane. That you added to that by providing a forum for so many wonderful speakers added enormous value to an already valuable centre of endless discovery. So thank you both for trying and for providing such a beacon to so many in this small community. You will be sorely missed. We wish you great happiness and future success in what we can only hope will be a more receptive and appreciative environment — Richard and Amanda

So sorry that you have to leave us, while we have not been great customers we have really appreciated your wonderful shop, and we look forward to your return in the future — Richard and Justine

Oh, were this not so. We are so sorry that you are leaving Noosa. You will be very much missed. Your bookshop is unique to us, a breath of fresh air – and always a pleasure to visit. Thank you also for organising such interesting talks – sometimes so popular we couldn’t get a seat (no matter how much we tried to bribe you!). George and I remain hopeful that one day you will return here, when the time is right for you. Until then, we both wish you (and your precious little daughter) every happiness in your new venture. We hope it won’t be too long before you return to us again. Thank you, most of all, for your fantastic contribution to Noosa’s educational enrichment — Debbie and George

All the best in your new ventures. I’m sure your move to Brisbane will see bigger and brighter outcomes. Denise and I thank you for promoting reason in our world and we valued the opportunity to attend the talks you generously facilitated — Kevin and Denise

A love letter to you……you have the best book store north of Sydney…hope you are able to survive in these times — Michele

I’m just about to move to Gympie from Brisbane – we need shops like yours around 🙂 — Lauren

Please let me know if you come to Melbourne as I am living here!! Good luck guys! — Leesa

Well, sad indeed – and I will miss your last day! I will be in Noosa but not until end of April. All the best and keep in touch when you get set up in Melbourne — Pat

Although we only found out about your shop a year ago we considered it a breath of fresh air. It was such a delight to find people who actually have intelligence and care about the world and don’t just sell trash to keep the masses happy and make a buck. If we don’t get to your farewell we wish you all the best. In addition to your shop have you considered email newsletters of recent books of interest to established customers in their areas of interest, with a postal service. You have surprised me on a few occasions with great suggestions which I have bought as a result — Chris and Becky

Hi, very sad to hear this, you will be much missed by us! But Melbourne is beautiful, and you will sure find a lot of customers there. We might come and visit. All the best! — Kathrin

A great shame a truly wonderful book shop — Scott

I will be sad to see you go as I only get to visit my all time favorite bookshop when I holiday on the sunshine coast – sad to say there will be no time for a final visit from me as the semester has started & several assignments & essays are already vying for time in my busy schedule. The concept you unleashed with Embbiggen was inspirational & I wish you all the very best in your future ventures & hope to come across you in another bookshop just like in somewhere in the near future. Thank you for all that you aspired to achieve with your magnificent & magical little world of great books, knowledge, art & open minds, I will forever hold your wonderful little shop as the bar against which all other bookshops are measured. thank you for the pleasure — Leanne

And for every person who sent you a note of congratulations congratulating you on having the time and energy to open your exceptionally good bookshop (or of commiseration for having to close it), there are ten more, like me, who thought the thought but didn’t type the type. So, good luck with your next venture — Pete

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