I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published April 18th 2015
The Bookplate is a small bookshop in Hornsby where you can get secondhand and collectible books. It's located on Peats Ferry Road, on the 'old' or 'west' side of the suburb's CBD.
The dull and worn exterior of the store probably won't catch your eye unless you're a true bibliophile, but what really matters is the collection of books inside and The Bookplate is pretty much overflowing. The space is quite narrow, but it has been packed with tall shelves (you'll see ladders around to help you reach everything).
Not only are the shelves themselves full of books, but there are more books shoved underneath them and piled at the ends on the ground. Temporary tables erected here and there (even outside sometimes) often display sale items, as does a tiny room at the back.
The layout is actually a bit confusing at first. The shelves aren't in straight lines and because they're so tall you can't see the category titles over the top of them like you can in other bookshops. The shop isn't as slick as ones like QBD and Berkelouw Books over at Hornsby Westfield, so even the signs are quite basic.
Once you figure out how it's all organised though, you'll realise that all the categories you want are here, once you look hard enough, and there is a pretty good selection of books within them. Titles range from quite recent releases to, as mentioned, collectibles. The books aren't always in perfect condition, but the store won't sell anything it doesn't think it can get a decent price for so at worst they'll be aged, not damaged.
Prices are about half that of new books, though rarely as low as secondhand books at places like Lifeline. Sometimes you might get lucky and only pay a few dollar sometimes if your chosen book is on sale. I don't always find the one I want (you can't expect a store to have every title) but I do always find something to read.
The Bookplate has a website, where you can search a catalogue and see if the book you want is in stock. If it is, you can even get the store to mail it to you. Otherwise, check below for opening times (the late start has deceived me before).
I don't think the shop has changed much in a very long time, which is a pretty good sign it's worth a trip in person at some stage.