Warren is the co-owner of Embiggen Books and hosts Laneway Learning classes at the bookshop.
How did you get involved with Embiggen Books?
Kirsty and I began Embiggen Books in Noosaville, Queensland, after we had decided to bring to a close our previous careers in film and design. I had worked extensively in the book trade previously and had harboured this idea to run my own one day. We wanted the shop to celebrate books and the material within, especially science and philosophy – two sections that are often tiny in most bookshops.
What is it about your job and the bookstore that appeals to you?
Perhaps the thing I like the most is being able to put on display and sell books that aren’t usually even found on the shelves of bookshops. Books on evolution, specialist books on the enlightenment period of philosophy, books that most publishers and sellers assume are for specialist audiences only but which we frequently find someone off the street will pick up on a whim.
Why did you want to be involved with Laneway Learning?
They are like us, they believe education can happen anywhere, anytime and be on anything.
What is your professional background?
Tricky. I studied outdoor education majoring in environmental ethics. Then I studied philosophy for a short time before I jumped into graphic design and printmaking.
What other projects are you involved in? Or do you have a hobby that you’re really into?
I am writing and editing several books at present. The other hobby would be trying to beat my daughter in a lightsaber duel. She’s just too fast – the Force is strong with her.
Who is your hero?
My immediate family form my inspiration. It sounds trite but it’s true. The inspiration for the shop was Carl Sagan. For me, still the greatest popular science writer. Charles Darwin would probably come closest to a hero, his compassion, persistence, day-to-day coping with fears and tragedies whilst working on one of the most profound theories of anything is quite humbling.
What thing or skill could you not live without?
Adaptability. In small business and in life the ability to change course and adapt to new conditions (which could be anything from macroeconomic factors to a new self awareness of one’s own limitations) is vital.
Is there something you wish you knew? A skill? A fact?
This list is too long to begin. I wish I was better at all the things I’m good at, as well as everything else. Even a 10,000 year lifespan would be just too short.
Is there something you think everyone should learn?
That even when you feel absolutely certain about a memory or opinion you could still be wrong. It’s easier to walk away from arguments and disagreements if that is taken on board.
What piece of knowledge/technology/skill should humanity be aiming for most strongly?
Evidenced-based education for all that aims to develop critical thinkers with a better understanding of the human condition and the world around us. Without this all other aims are undermined.
All images used belong to Embiggen Books.