There is much debate in the current media about whether it's right for consumers to buy books from the megastores, who can so easily outdo the local competition or whether the Australian bookselling industry will even be able to survive against the wave of internet-purchased, foreign imports. There are even questions as to whether books are better read the good old fashioned way or whether the experience has been improved for us, by most titles being made available digitally. But, for those of us who shop locally, there's really only one question that needs to be answered, where is the best place in Bendigo to buy books? Here are some suggestions;
Dymocks - 1 Mitchell Street
Dymocks is probably Bendigo's most well-known commercial bookstore and the one at which you're most likely to find copies of recent releases. They also have big sales and discounts, top ten lists and 'author of the month' highlights. Also, with the Dymocks Book Lover program, you will receive a loyalty card that gives a further percentage of the price off, plus newsletters and invitations to in-store events.
Collins Booksellers - 9 Fountain Court Like Dymocks, Collins Booksellers tends to have what's currently popular but it is also the local ABC shop. So, if there's a documentary or drama that you've seen on that station, then you can look in Collins for publications to compliment the show or to purchase a DVD copy of whatever it is you've been watching.
Book Now - 1 Farmer's Lane If you've seen the 1957 film 'Funnyface' starring Audrey Hepburn, then you'll already have some impression of what Book Now in Bendigo is like. Old books, packed tightly onto shelves, laid out on tables and categorised into little alcoves. Creaking, timber floorboards and stairs leading up to a book-filled mezzanine. It would be difficult to come into Book Now and not find something of interest among the 60,000 or so secondhand titles that they carry.
Book Mark - 24 High Street Recently, Penguin Books brought out a limited-edition series of hardcovers, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith to look like old novels. Why bother, when at Book Mark in Bendigo, you can get original, leather-bound, decorated and embossed editions?
The fiercely literary among us, love Book Mark's floor-to-ceiling shelves, crammed with fascinating treasures and can spend hours wandering among them, searching for the next, wondrous find.
The low, low discount pricing is a great way to entice people into this store, but generally it disappoints with few recognisable authors and massive repetitions of the same type of book rather than a truly extensive range.
Still, there's something fun about this type of clearance centre shopping, when you can walk out with bags full of new things and still have change from a twenty dollar note back in your pocket.
There are a couple of other places in town that stock specialty books like, the Buddisht Aisha Shop in Lyttleton Terrace, Word Christian Bookstore or even the cookbook section within Bendigo Wholefoods. Which of the Bendigo Bookstores is your favourite? Are there any others that I have missed?
Best book store? In a town of 100+ people, ONE bookstore is not enough. Went into Dymocks today as their website has 61 books on the topic I am after and not one book in store on the topic. Won't ever go back for any books. Yet another person converted to online.. Very disappointing.