Hailing from London, where libraries and book shops are shutting left, right and centre, it was a massive relief to arrive in Australia where there was a new library opening down the road, so many independent book stores to visit and city libraries creating a real hub. Reading seems to be actively encouraged and widely celebrated here.
Coming here as a traveller, you're always on the lookout for a bargain, a new experience and a bit of comfort.
One of the things I was most excited about going away for was having time to read and Australia has being very accommodating in aiding my swotting quest.
My favourite bookshop In Melbourne has to be The New International Bookshop located in the Trades Hall, Carlton South. Months ago when I was new in town (and felt the need to walk everywhere, no matter the distance) I came across a sign blocking my path on Victoria St, saying $1 books this way. An offer I couldn't refuse and in no way an enticing ploy. They have a heavy selection of second hand and new books.
The International Bookshop, as it was previously known, was a bastion of Melbourne's Left and literary culture from the 1930s until the dissolution of the Communist Party of Australia in the early 1990s. When that shop closed, the New International Bookshop (NIBS) Co-operative was founded eventually opening its doors in Melbourne's Trades Hall in 1996.
They hold authors' talks every other Wednesday and are run mainly by friendly volunteers, offering a good reading range of choice. We pride ourselves on operating an open space where diverse individuals and organisations of the Left, the Arts and the wider community can meet, debate and collaborate. This openness is reflected in our staff, our stock and our events – which span a broad spectrum from social democracy to revolutionary Marxism and anarchism, from green politics to feminism, from poetry to humour"