Known as Victoria's oldest general independent bookshop, Robinsons certainly gives the impression of being a classic, old-fashioned bookseller from a bygone era in this location on Level 3 of Emporium Melbourne. Stepping inside the store is very much like drifting into a bubble of quiet and pleasantly muted lighting in the middle of the bustle and brightness of a busy shopping centre.
Everything in the interior, apart from the ceiling, is dark wood, and it gives the whole space a cosy atmosphere, inviting customers to take their time perusing the books on display. The bookshop has a respectable selection, covering the usual range of genres. From the entrance, new releases are on the left, followed by general and genre fiction. On the right, next to the counters, are DVDs, CDs, maps, and assorted book-related merchandise. The young adult and children's sections are at the back.
My favourite part of the bookshop, though, can be found on a couple of shelves on the wall behind the shop-front window (to the left from the entrance), where adventurous customers are invited to have a Blind Date With A Book:
Add some extra excitement to your next book purchase.
The idea is to buy one of the thoroughly-wrapped books on offer without knowing what the book is, basing your selection only on three words that the staff have written on the wrapping. Presumably these words are meant to capture the main plot or themes, but readers don't always get the same things from the same books, so it's an act of trust. At $29.99 a piece (regardless of the book's size) it can be a bit of a gamble. On the other hand: new book! Mystery! Plus it's a great way of breaking out of your literary comfort zone and trying something new. Who knows, your next favourite book might be something you'd never have picked up otherwise!
If you are in this part of the CBD and find yourself hankering for a new book, or even just in need of a bit of quiet in the middle of your adventures in retail, I highly recommend paying a visit to this bookshop. I also encourage fellow book-lovers to pick up the free monthly newsletter from the front, which features blurbs and reviews of new releases.
Most new releases in the trade paperback format sell at $29.99-$34.99 (this is the industry recommended retail price) and as the blind date books are trade paperbacks the pricing is correct :) Love the blind date idea! :)