Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published October 29th 2012
Ten years ago there were dire predictions that big chain bookstores would kill off the independents. How things have changed – Borders and Angus & Robertson are gone and new bookstores are appearing with reassuring regularity. I love bookstores and can spend hours browsing. Here are some of my regular haunts.
Planet Books in Mt Lawley has a great range of genres but I seem to gravitate to the science fiction section. Their well-stocked shelves always include offbeat sci-fi anthologies at really good prices. Planet is one of the few bookstores that's open late most nights.
When I go to Boffins Bookshop I'm usually in an official capacity with a corporate credit card. I head upstairs to the technical and computing section.
I've never failed to find the necessary how-to manual and if for some reason they don't have it they'll promptly order it for you.
The go to place for computer books
There probably should be a whole separate category for bookstore-cafes but Bookcaffé is the one I tend to visit most often. Popular with book clubs, they provide detailed summaries of recent fiction on their website and in an e-mail newsletter. The café serves tasty light meals and good coffee.
Crow Books is located on the East Victoria Park café strip and is also open late. They stock "independent, cult, literature, poetry" and everything in between, including rare Western Australian works. Crow often has book launches and meet the author events.
A good place to meet the author
New Edition has a large store in Fremantle and a smaller recently-opened branch in Northbridge. In addition to fiction, they have an excellent selection of art, design and travel books. In partnership with ReadCloud, they recently added ebooks to their catalogue.
This is just a small selection of Perth's burgeoning bookstore scene. One thing all shops need is customers, so have I missed some hidden treasures? Where is your favourite bookshop?
Great article but don't forget all the little second hand book stores too. They have many hidden treasures just waiting to be rediscovered. For example a wonderful little place in Bulwer St around the corner from Sayer Sisters and Tarts called Mainly Books (I think) springs to mind.