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Where's the Best Book Shop in Melbourne?

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Writer's Answer:
by Sam van Zweden (subscribe)
A freelance writer from Melbourne, I blog at
Published July 28th 2011
At a time when book stores are shutting down left, right and centre, it's hard to know where to go for decent books. A number of stores have been replaced by discount stores, which rarely have what you're looking for, or anything at all that you'd want to read.

There's something about buying a book and holding it in your hands straight away Book Depository is great, but the two-week-plus wait and offshore buying isn't. You can't handle the books and put them back. You can't impulse buy. Now that many Melbourne book stores are gone, where are all the good stores hiding?

A few suggestions from this book-worm:

The Paperback Bookshop up the Parliament end of Bourke Street is immensely well-stocked, with friendly staff and wonderfully late opening-hours. If you're like me, and a good night means following up a few drinks by ducking into book shop, then this is for you.

Metropolis is a hidden gem. On the third floor of Curtin House, this store is not only a beautiful space in a beautiful building, but it also stocks all the big glossy books on photography, graphic design, fashion and pop-culture which are hard to find in mainstream stores.

Readings have stores all over Melbourne. Awarded the Independent Book Seller of the Year again in 2010, Readings have a massive selection of books, as well as CDs and DVDs. The stores are organised really well, everything is easy to find. Readings also host readings and panels, so if you show up on the right night, there might be something extra going on.

My last suggestion is The Book Grocer. There are a few of these stores kicking around now, and while they're a discount store their range is markedly better than others. Unless you're looking for a classic, it's best not to go into these stores in search of something specific, however they are happy to order books in for you.

So, those are my secret spots. Where do you go for your books?
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One for the ladies - the best Romance bookstore in Melbourne is Rendezvous at 359a Lonsdale St.
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 2nd of August @ 03:51 am
Hill of Content Bourke Street
By heath54 - reader
Sunday, 31st of July @ 08:31 am
The best book shop is in the city ~ Swanston St. at the Nicholas Centre ~ the poetry bookshop on the first floor . Collected Works Bookshop
By judet - reader
Wednesday, 3rd of August @ 02:45 am
collected works, upstairs in the Nicholas Building 37 Swanston st. they do poetry and the classics...
By jellyware - reader
Wednesday, 3rd of August @ 03:33 am
Book Affair is pretty excellent, in my opinion, and when City Basement Books re-opens (if it hasn't already, I don't know) that should be good as well. Thanks for reminding me of The Paperback Bookshop, though! After a night drinking up that end of Bourke St, I bought two or three books from there and promptly forgot about the place. I'll have to visit it again when I have the time!
By Sean Goedecke - senior reviewer
Friday, 5th of August @ 01:04 am
Warrandyte has an amazing book shop - with rooms full of "finds"!
It is in Yarra Street, with it's back garden being the lazy, picturesque Yarra river - where you could sit and enjoy a latte, indulging in your purchase... for hours.
By warra0 - reader
Friday, 5th of August @ 10:58 am
The Merchant of Fairness Bookshop at 300 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn is a wonderful visit to days gone by with stock that exceeds most regional libraries. What is more there is a big sale going on in August so go and have a browse.
By Rod Cameron - reader
Monday, 8th of August @ 05:00 am
where can I buy the book of (physics principles with applications)
By Anonymous
Wednesday, 10th of October @ 03:51 am
The Book Depository
By Anonymous
Sunday, 18th of November @ 01:20 am

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