Prepare yourself to be launched back through the years, to a time when music was created by musicians, when art was made by artists and when a bookshop meant, well, books. In Archives Fine Books, you won't find any DVDs, or stands filled with fresh-off-the-print magazines, there are no stationery racks and certainly, certainly no giftware. Archives means business. Old school, bookish business. Tucked away on Charlotte Street in Brisbane CBD, it's a quiet haven amidst the lunchtime hustle and bustle.
Like any good 2nd hand bookstore, Archives' collection spans a truly incomprehensible amount of genres, from Australiana to Zen buddhism. The vast shelves, which are piled from the floor to the ceiling with books, are enough to make even the most worldly bibliophile a little weak at the knees. It may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you've come in search for a specific book, but the store is set out in a logical way, with shelves marked and divided into topic sections. Nevertheless, if you're ever in doubt, Archive's highly capable staff are also on-hand to help with enquiries.
Tucked away towards the back of the store is a smaller room which houses some of the Arts inclined sections, with music, theatre, film and languages included. Best of all, there's a table with a few chairs to be found back here, inviting the customer to sit down with a newly found treasure or simply bask in wide-eyed wonder and absorb the grand feeling of the place.
Another neat thing about this bookshop are the up-to-date concert, art show and theatre posters which always catch the eye. They're far less intrusive than the ones sometimes garishly tacked to the walls of noisy cafes, in Archives they're just gentle reminders of cool things you should probably check out. You know. If you want to.
Book prices range dramatically, from less than $10 for a fiction paperback launching into the hundreds of dollars for a rare hardback print. However, there's no cost involved in checking this store out and gaining inspiration. You never know what you might find.
In Archives, you're invited to browse at your leisure and revel in the true magic of books. Lose yourself between the shelves and the pages and discover one of the wonderful gems at the heart of Brisbane city.
All images used courtesy of David Jackmanson, brisbaneishome.com.
I love this bookstore. I once found a copy of Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (definitely one to recommend) for the lovely price of $5.00. While waiting at the counter behind a couple of other shoppers, the shop assistant noticed the book I was going to purchase, and looked really interested, even exchanging glances with another attendant. I couldn't understand what all the buzz was about until it was my turn and I presented the book along with my $5, only to be told by a rather embarrassed assistant that the book was actually a First Edition and the price was $500. We were both crestfallen and a juicy sale went begging, but laughs all around saved the day. You live and learn.