Entertainment Books Step inside Australia’s best indie bookshops

Step inside Australia’s best indie bookshops

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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…


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.


The award-winner

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

Matilda’s Bookshop

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.


The stalwart


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

Paperbark Merchants

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

New Edition

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

Avid Reader

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.



The classic

Fullers Bookshop

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.



Family friendly

The Bookshop

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

Beyond Q

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

Paperchain Bookstore

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.

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