With their flagship Albert Park store having just ticked over thirty wonderful years, the new shop is a welcome addition to the literary-starved stretch of Swan Street.
The shop is wonderfully decorated and laid out, with a window display that invites you to explore their notebooks, gifts, postcards, art folios and special offers. You can be assured a warm, helpful and non-intrusive bookseller's greeting as you enter, with the new fiction laid out on the left-side table and shelving, and non-fiction on the right. Beyond the entry are exciting floor-to-ceiling shelves, structured in a simple but enticing system that feels maze-like (without feeling lost). For instance, take a left-turn at the entrance and you can wander the fiction shelving to your heart's content. Or, go straight ahead, past the cashier counter with its novelty items and books, and you'll find a children's book nook in the back right corner, just beyond the travel and sports section. If you took a left, you'll encounter a designer-approved arts, photography, graphic novel and design section that begs you to browse. From here, the labyrinth connect back to the fiction area.
'Reading a good book is like taking a journey.' -Emma Gulliford
Avenue Bookstore is more than a book repository, it is also home to the Avenue Book Club, where each month Avenue booksellers "lead rousing discussions over several nights" from a selection of genres and types of books.
'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.' -George R. R. Martin
Avenue Bookstore's Book Club ties in neatly with their Frequent Buyer program, which is free to join and simply tallies the amount you spend at any store. Any time the accrued total goes over $250, Avenue Bookstore will send you a voucher for 10% of your purchases. There's no time limit to get to that amount and the vouchers earned do not have an expiry date.
Avenue Bookstore consider themselves "a book haven, a favourite meeting place and a destination for booklovers across Melbourne and beyond," and they certainly deliver the nostalgic and comforting feeling that a good bookshop should. The booksellers at their shops are passionate bookworms and readers, who will happily offer recommendations and suggestions for any challenge. For anything out of stock, Avenue Bookstore have fast and efficient ordering capabilities from the USA and UK. Avenue Bookstore publish a regular seasonal reading guide online and in print (available in-store), and keep an eye on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for news and reviews.
'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' -Mason Cooley