Book sales may be rapidly declining, but that hasn’t quelled our love for a great book store.
For a store to get a really good reputation it needs to have much more than stacks of books. It needs to have soul.
The following stores are what we consider to be Australia’s best. Each of them offers something unique, ensuring their devoted customers keep coming back for more.
If you think differently, tell us below. Otherwise, let us introduce you to…
NEW SOUTH WALES
The kid’s playground
The Children’s Bookshop
6 Hannah Street, Beecroft
(02) 9484 0519
Ruth Hipwell, Program Manager of books at Leading Edge, says that this specialist kids bookstore ups the game with “many author events, great service” and excellent experience with over 40 years in the business,
Small but sweet
Blues Point Bookshop
131 Blues Point Rd, Mcmahons Point
(02) 9956 7056
“A tiny classic store with a very strong community feel,” Ms Hipwell says. “It has beautiful cards and evening events.” Owner Helen Baxter knows her customers and the store is a good destination for tourists looking to explore the area.
Books Plus Bathurst
157 Howick St, Bathurst
(02) 6331 5994
Winner of Leading Edge’s Indie Regional Bookseller of the Year 2013, voted by publishers, this store is “warm, knowledgeable and well stocked,” according to Ms Hipwell.
The community centre
8 Mt. Barker Road, Stirling
(08) 8339 3931
“A store which seems to be at the hub of the community, stacked with a top selection,” says Hipwell. Matilda’s is an excellent example of a classic Australian independent bookstore.
The rare book specialist
107 Hindley Street, Adelaide
(08) 8231 4454
Opened in 1984, Imprints is known for its collection of rare or difficult-to-find books. They also stock a small selection of vintage finds for the perfect one-off gift option.
The gift-buyers go-to
My Bookshop by Corrie Perkin
513 Malvern Road, Hawksburn
(03) 9824 2990
With friendly staff and beautiful options for even the most difficult to buy for, My Bookshop makes finding the perfect present easy. Regular evening events also allow you to get involved in a community of fellow book-lovers.
Locations in Carlton, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Malvern, the State Library and the Melbourne Brain Centre
With six stores, Readings is verging on an empire but still manages to retain its small, personal feel. Around since 1969, the store donates 10 per cent of its annual profits to The Readings Foundation, set up to benefit literacy, community and the arts.
The hipster haunt
Level 3, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street , Melbourne
(03) 9663 2015
Covering all realms of pop culture from graphic novels to tattoo art, this specialist store is the place to hit if you’re looking for something a bit left of centre. With a beautiful fit out and a cool, hidden location (in Melbourne’s historic Curtain House) this is also a great tourist spot.
The fresh perspective
240 York St, Albany WA 6330
(08) 9842 8044
A family owned business opened in 2000, Ms Hipwell describes Paperbark Merchants as “a modern store with a young perspective.” They also have a wide range of eBooks if you prefer your novels in digital form.
The art and design expert
82 High Street, Fremantle
(08) 9335 2383
Housed in a historic bank building with an entire wall dedicated to local offerings, New Edition is great for books focusing on art, design and travel.
The one stop shop
193 Boundary Street, West End
(07) 3846 3422
An incredibly comprehensive collection of books, eBooks, DVDs and CDs. This is a Brisbane mainstay.
The vintage treasure
Archives Fine Books
40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane
(07) 3221 0491
Trading in rare, second hand and collectible books, Archives lives up to its name. A labrinyth of hidden treasures where you’re guaranteed to discover a gem.
131 Collins Street, Hobart
(03) 6234 3800
A part of Tassie in its various incarnations since the 1920s, Fullers now publishes their own books on Tasmanian history, as well as stocking a catalogue of must-haves.
Shop T18, The Galleria Smith Street Mall, Darwin
(08) 8981 0668
Books for all ages and interests live here and it also has an excellent kids section. This is a great place to grab all your literary must-haves.
The music master
Curtin Shopping Centre, 44 Curtin Place, Canberra
(02) 6162 3999
With an in-store café to quench your thirst and regular weekend music showcases, Beyond Q is the ultimate chill-out shopping experience.
The online option
34 Franklin Street, Manuka
(02) 6232 6845
Paperchain’s entire catalogue is available to order online and shipping is free within Australia, making it the perfect option for those who prefer to shop from home. Actually going into the store is rewarding too – if something is not in stock, staff will happily track it down for you.