News Releases

MARCH 20, 2024

Introducing Edda and Peter to the James Bennett team!


James Bennett is very lucky to welcome two new staff members, Peter Wallace and Edda Eckhardt! 
We asked them 5 questions in 5 minutes to get to know them a little better. 



Joining our Sales Team is Peter Wallace. 

Peter started working in libraries at the age of 17 as a shelver. He then worked at Richmond Tweed Regional Library for 16 years, in several roles, ending up as a Librarian. And we now welcome him to our Sales Team! Peter will be taking care of  Mid-Coast, Northern and Western NSW. 


What is your favourite book, author or genre? 

My favourite genre is fantasy. I don't always read fantasy, but it is my favourite because it takes me into a different world completely. If I can get into a good saga, that is when I struggle to put a book down, and then the next book too! I guess if I were asked what my favourite book is, I would have to answer that it is Return of the King by J.R.R Tolkien. 

I love the friendship, resilience and persistence shown by the hobbits until the end. That they didn't give up no matter how hard it was.

Where was your childhood library?

Lismore Library and Goonellabah Library were the first libraries I used heavily other than my school library.

What is the BEST thing about libraries?

Having worked in a public library for over 15 years, I would have to say the best thing is how libraries are there to help anyone who enters. It is the library staff and their compassion which makes a library a place people want to come to. A place where they feel welcomed and can seek what they need. 

How do you organise your books at home?

Alphabetically by the author's surname. We don't have a lot of non fiction, so they just sit in a small part of the book shelf and don't usually move... 
My son's organising of books, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Chaotic, with series intertwined and books on top of the shelf. We have re-organised it many times, but it always ends up the same. 
My daughter has picture books facing out; it is the easiest for her to go through them. It has stayed organised this way too (for over a month now); spine facing out always ended up a mess. 

What book should everyone read at least once in their lifetime?

Under the Hill by Martin Baynton 
This is a book which was given to me as a child. It is basically about the consequences of human greed from an environmental perspective, ending with a child choosing not to be greedy and learning to appreciate what we have as it is. 
This taught me from my childhood that our collective actions have collective consequences and that humanity needs to do better, and we can do better. One person at a time. 

[Editor’s Note: Sadly, Under the Hill is no longer available to order, but Peter has provided a link to Martin Baynton himself reading it aloud on YouTube. Please enjoy it here: Under the Hill | Kids Book Read Aloud ]


Get in touch with Peter


Next, we have Edda Eckhardt heading up our Client Services Team. 

Edda is a booklover, publishing professional, registered midwife, storyteller, veggie farmer and enthusiastic mother of five children. She would like to be Albus Dumbledore but her kids claim that she is Professor McGonagall. We can’t wait to see what magic Edda weaves in her new role! 


What is your favourite book, author or genre?

I love Non-Fiction because it has risen to fame after being the weird cousin of Fiction for a long time. If I am not found indulging in all things gardening, cooking, quilting, kawaii drawing books or travel journals; I can be spotted reading Comics and Mangas. 
Hold on, my soul speaks Haruki MurakamiBertolt Brecht and a bit of Anthony Bourdain. Can I go on forever now?

Where was your childhood library?

Just outside of Frankfurt in the middle of Germany. It’s still in the same spot and I still have my membership card. I also still have some of my old favourites from that library that I adopted when the books retired from their official duties. They now live a peaceful life in my bookshelf and are following me around the globe.

What is the BEST thing about libraries?

That they exist. The second amazing thing is that, for migrants like me, they exist in some shape all over the world. 

Home is where the books are – and generally you can also find great people there too.

How do you organise your books at home?

Five children. Do I need to say more? My books don’t get organized. They get read and dragged into a treehouse and hidden deep in pillow fortresses, sometimes lost. 
I fear I am a malfunctioning bibliophile. I am in awe of people colour-coding their private library and admit how cool it looks. However, I only colour-code the jam that sticky fingers have left on the front covers.

What book should everyone read at least once in their lifetime?

My answer will change depending which day, mood, season or life-cycle you will get me in. Today, I will say Maus by Art Spiegelman.


Get in touch with Edda 

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James Bennett
Unit 3, 114 Old Pittwater Road
Brookvale NSW 2100, Australia
P: +61 2 8988 5000