If you have dropped into this large and comprehensive bookstore to buy a book, a card, a gift or a toy, you will have seen Nava behind the counter. He bought Wheelers at the beginning of May last year after a long career as a project manager/engineer in the oil and gas industry both here and in Malaysia, his home country. He transported his family here in 2007 to make sure his three children got a good education. In fact, his oldest boy is now studying computer science at AUT, while his sister is studying medicine in Romania (don’t ask)and the youngest has just applied to study bioengineering at the university here in Auckland.
The idea with buying Wheelers was to slide into retirement with a less stressful job. Not that being a business owner is stress free but it’s a different type of stress and he enjoys having to answer only to himself for his decisions. A bookshop in Remuera brought together his desire to work in a crime-free area and his interest in books. He loves crime novels and is currently reading 11-22-69 by Stephen King. As he thought, Remuera has turned out to be a peaceful place to work and the people here are very supportive. In return he likes to support new authors with their first books. He recently accepted an autobiography called “Young Man Go South” written by a Remuera author, Hans Swier, and it is selling well.
When I asked him what his favourite movie was, he was embarrassed to say, The Hulk. He has watched both the television series and the movie. He enjoys the main character because of the humility he expresses despite his super powers. I suspect this humility is a part of Nava’s character as well, though I’m not sure about his having super powers.
Nava no longer makes New Year’s resolutions because they are too difficult to keep but he did keep one back in the year 2000. He decided to stop smoking despite having a 50-cigarette-a-day habit and stopped cold-turkey. He never had another. This shows the strength of character of this gentle man whose philosophy on life is to take one day at a time. “We are not permanent,” he says.
If you need a great book to read, do drop in at Wheelers at 395 Remuera Rd and say hi to Nava. He will happily help you with your purchase. Or you could go online and look the shop up here on the website, which is presently receiving a facelift: www.wheelersbooks.co.nz