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Bookshops in Darwin

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by Meiri S (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer, living in Melbourne. I enjoy uncovering hidden in plain sight gems.
Published September 5th 2017
Darwin bookshop Smith St Mall
Image courtesy of Darwin Bookshop website.
Reading is compulsory in Darwin. It's relaxing and helps you to combat the heat. Darwin is a great place to catch up on any reading you haven't gotten around to. Although there is not a wide range of bookstores available, what bookstores Darwin has excel. You will always find something, as they stock interesting local, and international books.

The Bookshop, 1/30 Smith Street Mall, Smith St, Darwin City NT 0800, AustraliaT

This bookshop is right beside Mbantua Art Gallery, so it's well placed for you to grab and book then view some artwork. The biggest asset is its collection of books that talk and specialise in Darwin, the NT, its stories, and its history. They have an extensive range of maps both for general usage and 4wders. These maps are particularly important if you are self-touring the NT. The children's books cover Indigenous stories local to the area, and a general range of books. They always have books on special on a table on the mall.

They also stock your modern and classic literature. Their staff are very well read and super helpful, so do ask them questions if you are unsure about a particular title. Reading is part of their job description.

They also stock good quality travel stuff, so if you've forgotten something for your long trip, it's a good place to come.

Readback Book Exchange, Smith St Mall

This bookshop and Art Gallery stock both new and secondhand books. It was my favourite place to go and grab a book and view some art at the same time. A little slice of heaven.

Considering the size of the place, they have rather a remarkable collection of second-hand books. I always love a second-hand book because of the price and knowing that someone else has read it before me.

They have a good range of literature and current books. The turnover of books in Darwin is quite fast. Itinerants from interstate and overseas leave books behind when they move on.

This place has a sizeable amount of secondhand German books that are both modern and classic titles (my second language, so I was very pleased). As well as a considerable collection of secondhand French books and some other languages that you wouldn't expect to get (think Dutch, Swedish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc)

This place is a classic case of a diamond in the rough. If you didn't stop to take a look in the heat you'd miss it.

QBD Bookshop, Casuarina Square Shopping Centre
The friendly staff at QBD in Casuarina
Image courtesy of QBD Bookshop Darwin

On first impressions, I thought this bookshop looked rubbish. But first impressions in Darwin are deceiving. Things are never what they seem. Although it is unfortunately placed across the way from a travel shop and Kmart, it ended up being one of my favourite bookshops to go in Darwin.

They always have their bargain books on the outside two tables. Inside is a mecca of current titles, novels, fiction and non-fiction, a particularly impressive cookbook section, health & fitness, kids colouring books and personal development section. They also excel in the foreign language dictionary and English dictionary section. They stock a large amount of esoteric/spiritual books that you can't find elsewhere in Darwin.

The staff are always pleasant. Always serve with a smile and are happy and helpful. QBD also has a book club, so you can sign up and enjoy the benefits.

What's your favourite bookshop in Darwin?
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