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5 Top Independent Bookstores Around Australia

March 19, 2014 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

UntitledAlthough the growing prevalence of e-books, as well as the proliferation of big chain stores or online bookshops have tended to make the going tough for independent bookstores, happily there are still a number of specialist shops around the country that are thriving.

Whether they draw regular customers with extra services such as author signings, book clubs or on-site cafes or simply provide quality service and an intriguing array of books, there are stores to entice every reader. If you’d like to find out about some of the most unique, service-driven and comprehensive independent bookstores around Australia, read on for a taste of just five you don’t want to miss. Visit any of these established stalwarts, and you’ll be breathing in that unmistakable book smell in no time!

Megalong Books in the Blue Mountains

One of the best independent book shops in the World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains, Megalong Books is located in the Mall in popular tourist destination Leura, under two hours from Sydney.  The bookstore carries a large range of fiction and non-fiction titles on a variety of subjects, as well as an extensive, and popular, children’s book section. The Leura shop also stocks many volumes on the local area that are perfect if you are going to be in the Blue Mountains area and want to find out some of the history and attractions to check out on your visit. Titles cover the history of the Blue Mountains, and the area’s flora and fauna and many Untitled1bushwalks. Visitors can also buy stunning photographic books that make a perfect souvenir to remember a visit to the region. If you need help choosing from the extensive range then don’t shy away from asking the store’s friendly staff for some help — they have over 200 years of experience in the book trade collectively. If you’re after a specific or hard-to-find title then the store can also place a special order for you.

Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe in Brisbane

Located on Boundary Street in inner-city West End, the Avid Reader is a popular Brisbane shop and cafe that is so beloved by locals that there has even been a wedding in the store! The store carries a good selection of the latest-release books, as well as a strong backlist of award-winning literary titles. Avid Reader also keeps a broad range of children’s books on hand plus a variety of DVDs and CDs. Opened in 1997, the bookshop is known for its personal service and knowledgeable staff and provides free gift wrapping plus gift vouchers, advice and discounts for book clubs, gift recommendations, a special order system and regular in-store events such as book launches and signings. The on-site cafe serves up Toby’s Estate coffee and tea, as well as a lovely selection of gourmet sweets and savouries.

Brunswick Street Bookstore in Melbourne

A Fitzroy institution since 1987, the Brunswick Street Bookstore is the perfect calm oasis for booklovers amidst the plethora of cafes, Untitled2indie clothing stores and music shops in the suburbs. Renowned for stocking a massive array of titles, the shop is open late each day and regularly draws crowds who are waiting to meet friends or who have just finished a meal nearby. The Brunswick Street Bookstore stocks everything from new release and backlist fiction titles to non-fiction reads in areas as diverse as history, politics, biography, science, art, design, cooking, travel and more. Kids are well-catered with an ample children’s book section.

Berkelouw Books in Sydney

One of the leading independent bookstore chains in Australia, Berkelouw stores can be found in a variety of locations in Sydney and specialise in both new releases and second-hand gems. The company owns well-established stores in Paddington and Leichhardt as well as newer branches in Newtown, Cronulla and Hornsby. Shops feature comfortable couches plus cafes, a variety of stunning wooden bookcases and one of the largest collections of antiquarian, rare and second-hand books in Australia. The Berkelouw family has been in the bookselling trade for six generations and their stores are popular with locals and tourists year-round.

Beyond Q in Canberra

Situated in the Curtin Shopping Centre, Canberra’s Beyond Q not only houses an extensive collection of new and second-hand books, plus some antiquarian and first editions but features an on-site cafe, regular music events and book club meetings. The shop also hosts many book launches and signings, poetry afternoons and community activities.

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