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Brown & Bunting Booksellers

Home > Melbourne > Books and Writing | Family | Poetry | Shopping
by Rachael Taylor (subscribe)
My husband and I run a small mixed farm on the Mornington Peninsula. You can check us out online at or in person at our fortnightly tours
Published October 6th 2012
A gorgeous bookshop with weekly readings
At 237 High St, Northcote is a gem of a bookshop. Brown and Bunting Booksellers are a special second hand bookshop.

Given the size of most of the shops along this strip, B&B Booksellers have a spacious set up. They fit in plenty of books, without resorting to messy piles. I like the romantic idea of sifting through boxes to find treasures, but in reality I get dust up my nose and give in before I find anything decent.

At B&B's the shelves are labelled to enable easy browsing, with sections such as cooking and art. I think my favourite section was the "mixed collectibles and rare editions". There's something about older books that make me imagine their past owners. 50 years ago, they flipped through the same pages, dwelt on the same passages.

They concentrate mainly on literary, non-fiction and children's texts, inviting you to bring in and sell any of these books that you have in good condition. They don't accept text books or encyclopedias, and they steer well clear of the Mills and Boon style romances that can easily take over a store.

As you'd expect from book shop owners, Travis and Benita love books. They don't seem worried about the increase in e-book sales, seeing the physical book as something extra: "We love and respect the book as a tactile object, a piece of art and as an individual piece of history that is accessible to all."

That's not to say that they're not a part of the 21st century. They have a blog section of their website that's regularly updated with reviews of the latest books they've read. An online catalogue of their stock is currently in progress.

Now, all of this makes them a pretty awesome bookshop, in my opinion. However, none of these things were the reason that I first walked in the door. Brown and Bunting Booksellers had just begun regular book readings for kids. Unfortunately, they've had to stop doing these readings, but they hope to continue them again in the future.

I love that as well as providing a haven of ink and paper for those of us who were converted long ago, Brown and Bunting actively encourages young readers. Most bookshops seem to think that having a children's section is enough. I disagree. I learnt to love words because I was read to with passion and enthusiasm as a child. I sincerely hope that Brown and Bunting's continue their readings soon, and can pass on the same love to children today.
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Why? They've got a good book range, and readings for kids
When: 11am-6pm Sun-Thurs, 11am-9pm Fri and Sat
Phone: 03 9481 3388
Where: 237 High St, Northcote
Cost: Depends on the book you choose, $5-$15
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