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Where is Adelaide's Best Bookshop?

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by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published January 26th 2012
Recently we've seen many of Adelaide's biggest bookstores close down, one of the most notable cases was the Borders in Rundle Mall. SA discount booksellers, the Book Boys, have taken over the space, and it feels strange to walk through this once familiar shop. The closing down of these retail giants could indicate the demise of all bookstores, or it could be an opportunity for local shoppers to check out some of the other great offerings on the street. We want to know which bookshop you think is Adelaide's best.

One of Adelaide's oldest bookshops is the Mary Martin Bookshop, now on Rundle Street and the Parade. The first store was opened in 1945, and since then has had a long and interesting history. Now there are two stores, and inside you'll find an good collection of classics, new releases, children's books, and other rarer reads you would have never thought to pick up. The newer Norwood store not only has a larger collection, but also has a cafe where you can sit back to enjoy your latest read.

Moving from the East End, to the West End, another Adelaide independent is Imprints Booksellers. The warm lighting and dark wood shelves make you feel like you're rummaging through someone's extensive personal library. As well as general fiction books Imprints stock a range of specialty items, not limited to books on history, poetry, politics, science, gay and lesbian writing, philosophy, and religion. This is the type of place where you'll meet plenty of likeminded people who relish in the smell of new books and the feel of pages between fingers.

One larger franchise that has managed to survive is the Australian Dymocks chain. They still have four stores throughout Adelaide, with stores in Adelaide, Burnside, Glenelg, and West Lakes. Here you can find excellent resources on travelling, from language learning kits to guide books. They have a large sci-fi sections, and some interesting graphic novels to browse through. You'll also always be able to find a staff member willing to help you find the right book.

One place you might not think to do, is UniBooks at Adelaide University. While it's an obvious stop for the university student stocking up on textbooks, UniBooks also have a range of other interesting books. Their fiction collection is full of great literature, and they have plenty of books for film, history, or music buffs. Plus, if you grab a good book you can sit back on the Barr Smith Lawns to start reading straight away.

Do you have another favourite bookstore? Or do you stick to online? Local bookshops may not always be as cheap as finding a read online, but there is nothing quite like a spontaneous book buy to satisfy your inner book nerd. Join the discussion in the comments and let us know where you like to shop.
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Michael Treloars on Nth Tce... then Imprints. Or head up to the Hills to Chapter Two Books
by chapt (score: 1|26) 3836 days ago
O'Connell's Bookshop, in Hindley Street. They have thousands of books and the place looks terrific. And smells terrific. It's interesting. Eclectic. Every kind of book imaginable. A friendly, chatty guy at the counter, who runs the shop and is the grandson of the original O'Connell. They have good second hand books and antique books in glass cases. They have comics and graphic novels.
by james (score: 0|4) 2918 days ago
Matilda's Bookshop in Stirling. Fantastic range of cookery books. Very helpful staff. Wonderful place to browse on a cold wet day or at any time then have a cup of coffee at one of the great cafes nearby.
by barba (score: 0|2) 3153 days ago
I'm with Alegn, Judem, Daver and Barba - Mindfield bookshop in Blackwood is a little gem. If you're after second hand books, Blackwood also has the Book Exchange in the Blackwood Plaza shopping centre on Main Rd.
by Annie Waddington-Feather (score: 2|186) 3274 days ago
The best bookshop in Adelaide is by far O'Connell's Bookshop in Hindley Street. It has the largest selection of books ranging from tomes dating back to the 16th century to brand new editions with everything inbetween. And the people who run the shop are the same family who opened the shop back in the 1950s! Always friendly service and knowledgeable staff. One of the first stops when coming to Adelaide.
by mr.wh (score: 0|2) 3361 days ago
ARTHRITIS SA have a pre-loved book shop open EVERY Saturday morning in their warehouse from 8.30am til Lunchtime. Books from 50cents and you can park at the front door. Corner of South Road and Richmond Road, Marleston (opposite the RAA). Very popular now since they expanded their range even more!
by Bill Marles (score: 0|5) 3451 days ago
Mindfield Bools Blackwood!
by barba (score: 0|2) 3467 days ago
I love Mindfield Books in Magnet Shopping Centre Blackwood. I have three boys of different ages and find they have a fantastic range of books for young children through to teen fiction. They also stock fantastic of books for adults. It is very accessible and has knowledgeable and friendly staff. They also keep a range of gifts, cards and gift wrapping. Love having this store in my neighbourhood!
by daver (score: 0|4) 3467 days ago
Mindfield Book Gallery at Blackwood is my favourite. I can always find great books there, both for kids and adults, they have beautiful cards and lots of small affordable gifts to go with other presents. The staff are very helpful and knowledgeable and always make good suggestions of suitable books. I really enjoy having such a lovely bookshop in my local community.
by judem (score: 0|3) 3468 days ago
Mindfield Book Gallery is my bookstore. Located in Blackwood next to Montagna Cafe on the Main Road. The staff there are friendly and knowledgable and always go out of their way to help you find the right book. The store is stocked with well chosen titles, both classics and new releases. New and upcoming authors are also available. In addition to the extensive range of quality books Mindfield Book Gallery also stocks well chosen gifts and jewelry. In the back of the store is a small Gallery where art works of local artists are displayed and are available for sale, an opportunity to see the talent in the local community. In a nutshell Mindfield Book Gallery is a community bookstore which provides a wonderful service to it's customers! Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
by Alegn (score: 0|2) 3468 days ago
Imprints in Hindley St. They have really selected and carefully chosen stock and focus on quality rather than quantity. A slant towards philosophy books but by no means limited to that - for example I found the "Manlobbi's Descent" by Julian Cochran there, arguably the best book written about investing, and of course they have all the standard classics and other inspiring books in the philosophy section. Closes late so you can feel at home and browse books there during the night!
by samje (score: 0|2) 2231 days ago

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