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Brisbane's Best Indie Bookstores

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by Stacey Trick (subscribe)
Arts and Culture Writer based in Brisbane | | @Stacey_Trick
Published October 8th 2016
Brisbane Book-Lovers, You're in for a Treat
From classic literary fiction to a chocolate dusted cappuccino, these independent bookstores in Brisbane have a lot to offer beyond the standard traditional bookstore. These indie bookstores don't just sell books, they often have a multitude of gorgeous gifts you wouldn't normally see anywhere else, offer free gift-wrapping, coffee and delicious tarts, and even the odd book-signing of local authors and artists.

Folio Books
Corner of Edward & Mary St, BRISBANE
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Folio Books. Image Credit Stacey Trick.

This delightful bookstore in Brisbane is certainly a treat. Their striking black shelves make each title pop with colour. With French Jazz playing your tune and being surrounded with the likes of Michel Foucault, Channel, Simone De Beauvoir, and French Chefs alike – you are sure to be in book heaven. With exciting new stock arriving daily, there is no doubt you'll find what your heart, and mind, desires.

Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe
Boundary Street, WEST END
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Avid Bookreader and Cafe. Image Credit Avid Bookreader

This great indie bookstore and cafe is a hidden gem; a little something you weren't expecting. At first sight, it doesn't look like much until you take your first step inside and you realise why people rave about it. Surrounded by books on all sides as you make your way down to the back of the store where you'll find great coffee and a fully functional café with an outdoor area for alfresco style eating away from the busyness of Boundary road. With friendly staff, regular literary events and a fantastic range of contemporary books, you'll be very happy to have found such a place you can spend hours indulging in your love of great books, and maybe even enjoy a pumpkin and blue cheese tart.

Archives Fine Books
Charlotte Street, BRISBANE
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Archives Fine Books. Image Credit Archives Fine Books

This may be as close as you'll come to walking through the restricted section of Hogwarts Library, but in Brisbane. This bookstore is something you'd think only existed in the likes of Paris or London, and it's an exciting bit of nostalgia Brisbane is offering to the public and has done so since 1985. Archives Fine Books is one of Australia's largest collections of rare, unusual and collectable books. Housed in one of Brisbane's oldest heritage-listed building only adds to the uniqueness and sentimentality of the array of treasured books inside. With vellum and leather-bound books dating from the sixteenth century onwards, you are guaranteed to lose yourself in time and the stories of these historic treasures.

Pulp Fiction
Adelaide Street, Blocksidge & Ferguson Building Arcade, BRISBANE
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Pulp Fiction. Image Credit

In the heart of trendy Adelaide Street, you'll find an indie bookstore just as trendy. Pulp Fiction specialises in science fiction, fantasy, crime and mystery. They also have a selection of horror, true crime, popular science and media (film, TV, gaming) titles, and related art books and graphic novels. Although they may not offer coffee, they certainly make up for it in their incredible range of fiction novels and literary events.

Often we hear that the bookstore is dead in the traditional sense, however ,I beg to differ. Bookselling and publishing in general has an incredibly long history of innovation in the face of economic hardship. These indie bookstores are no exception and are innovative in their own unique ways. This uniqueness is what makes them special. It's what makes customers keep coming back and spreading the word. We are in an exciting era of booming independent bookstores, where contemporary innovation and a nostalgic wistfulness of the past come together in harmony.

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Why? If you're interested in checking out Brisbane's best indie bookstores
When: All year-round
Where: Brisbane
Cost: Free entry
Your Comment
What a wonderful outlet, Stacey - great article! Welcome to Weekend Notes!
by Elaine (score: 3|8299) 1755 days ago
I also applaud your stance Stacey - love book stores Marina Marangos
by Marina Marangos (score: 2|994) 1750 days ago
This article really shows your passion towards books and book stores Stacey. Well done!
by jo4da (score: 0|2) 1754 days ago
Don't forget Riverbend Books at Bulimba!
by Sherr (score: 1|25) 1749 days ago
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