To the delight of Armidale's readers, secondhand bookshop Boobooks has started a new chapter.
Sally Rowe and John Rooney opened the shop in 2006, and made it one of the best loved stores in town, with customers coming from around the region. To public dismay, they announced in November that they were retiring, and the bookshop would close.
Debra O'Brien and Yvonne Langenberg bought the store, and were handed the key on Wednesday afternoon.
"We feel honoured to take on this wonderful business, especially after Sally and John were so well-loved by the community," Debra said. "We feel we have a big responsibility to keep up the great service that they provided for the town."
"It's been quite overwhelming how much loved it is by many people who've come in here, and how excited they are that it's remaining open," Yvonne said.
People cried when they heard that Boobooks was closing - and cried again with joy when they learnt it would reopen.
The new owners have spent the last couple of weeks getting to know the shop, and say they feel both excited and privileged to own what Yvonne calls an Armidale icon.
The two women had given up their jobs to campaign for the Labor Party - Yvonne standing for federal parliament, Debra for state - so were in a position to change their careers.
For Debra, a former English teacher, working in a bookshop is a dream job.
"This is a very special place in Armidale. You don't see a bookstore of this calibre in many places."
Yvonne said she felt like a child in a lolly shop.
"It's an amazing collection; I love frequenting second-hand bookshops, and this is a particularly high quality one. We're very lucky here in Armidale!"
She had always wanted a bookshop, but was never encouraged to have one.
"There was always a concern that I would buy more of my own stock than I would sell!" she said. "My husband has a slight hope that the thousand-plus books I've got at home..."
"might be contained now she's got a bookshop!" Debra concluded.
The new owners have a loose three-year plan for the bookshop: they want to make it the centre of the arts and cultural life of Armidale, and hinted at building up the music scene.
"It's already been in existence for 13 years, so hopefully it'll be another 20 years!" Yvonne said. "We might even hand it on to our children."
To celebrate the changeover, Debra and Yvonne will hold a celebration with wine and nibbles next Friday, April 26, at 5pm.