An immigrant from the Netherlands, Wilma (Wilhelmina Petronella Maria) van den Bosch has lived in Lake Tekapo since 1992. With her husband Michael Midgley she ran a backpackers hostel and raised a family. Although she had a master’s degree in Dutch literature and years of experience as a bookseller, Wilma bided her time until two garages came available in 2018. In a quiet corner of Lake Tekapo, Petronella’s Gallery and Bookstore, now known as Petronella's Bookstore, became a dream come true. In 2020 she secured premises on Rapuwai Lane in the middle of town and the bookstore is going from strength to strength.
Many customers ask Wilma how she selects her books. This is done through a mix of personal preference, research, bestsellers and listening carefully to what the customers like. The shelves of modern fiction reflects Wilma’s lifelong interest in literature. Her favourite customer and husband, Michael, is a fly fisherman, an expert gardener with an insatiable desire for knowledge who inspires Wilma to stock books on gardening, fishing and fascinating characters.
The dream may have come true, but the story is not finished. We now have a great team of staff, each with their own reading preferences. Petronella’s Bookstore is the perfect place for book clubs, writing workshops and author events. The possibilities for the community and the customers are endless. We have only just begun!