Paperback books is a great Melbourne institution. True many find themselves drawn to buying books online or via Kindle - and this review is not looking to condemn that - instead just seeking to showcase a rare place in Melbourne.
This is not a store as concerned with aesthetics or optics - the weathered stone faced outside the store is strong testament to substance comes before style - but Paperback is in indeed a place in which the substance of what's on offer is substantial.
Walking on in you'll soon feel surrounded by paperbacks of every kind, for this is a store that very much trades off an overload'' aspect of works.
While the store does indeed have a specialisation in literary fiction, it also proudly features a strong showing of travel guides, biographies and classics; seeking to cater to all interests across the store and wider city.
While one would be forgiven - given the density of the works on offer - for thinking this collection has been assembled with some randomness about it, the care and craft shown in setting up the store in little-detail proves otherwise. Clear example of this comes with the charming children's section in a dedicated alcove with little chairs and more. Here's a store that has put much thought into its whole audience (as well as perhaps providing a nifty spot to keep younger readers amused with some shorter reads while mom and dad grab a 1000-pager).
While the range at Paperback is diverse, it should also be declare it features a solid and very niche array of niche and hard-to-find titles; making it a solid port of call for those who are looking for a particular work but had little luck elsewhere.
Paperback also has a number of rare and eceltic volumes alongside the more well known works.
With this, it should be said too: a key draw of the store is its late hours across the weeknights. Open from 9.30am weekdays till the later hours of the evening, it a great stop for those post-dinner in the Paris end of Melbourne looking for something to read on the 10pm tram home.
A store with just one of the virtues aforementioned here would be a good one. To have so many things to recommend it means Paperback is surely a standout. While indeed other good bookstores - like Corner Lamp Books in Moorabbin - come with a similar style and ethos; Paperback very much stands apart at the top end of the Melbourne CBD. A great place to call by if yet to.