What Are The 7 Not To Be Missed Indie Bookstores In Melbourne?

What Are The 7 Not To Be Missed Indie Bookstores In Melbourne?

Bookstores, in case you haven't been in one recently, are absolutely lovely, and always a zen place to visit.  My love affair with books began at libraries. Before I could afford to buy books, I could sit around in libraries and read them, carry them home, come back and borrow more. That love has expanded into bookstores, and much to my husbands horror (or delight?), I can be lost for hours when I find a great one.

Why Indie Bookstores?  Firstly, with all the online and digital stores, they need our support.  Also, Indie bookstores have an incredible collection of books, and the owners and staff have knowledge and passion.  The atmosphere is amazing in these shops.

Of course, when in Paris, the bookstore of choice is the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, but we don't have to travel all the way to Paris to find one.  Melbourne has some brilliant bookstores to visit.  Here are some of our fav's for you.


1. Embiggen Books - Little Lonsdale St in, Melbourne

When visiting the gorgeous, or attending the free "Dome To Dungeon" tour of the State Library Of Victoria, head around the corner to Little Lonsdale Street to find a piece of paradise at Embiggen Books.

A quant and unique bookshop i guarantee you will love exploring.  The shop does not host and online shop.  As stated on the website:

"We had an online shop once, but it was nowhere near as much fun as the real thing. We’ve put a lot of effort into the physical shop so we really just want to see you come through the door. If you really can’t make it, give us a call for whatever book you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to help you."

And that is what we love about the shop, the old fashioned values of a bookstore.  Books can be selected from a library trolley, wooden lectern, or move along the polished floor to access a book on a high shelf with the timber ladder.

The 1920's soundtrack adds to the atmosphere.   So please beware, when entering this bookshop you will be taken back to a simple time of life when books were worshipped.  You may never want to leave.


2. The Paperback - Bourke Street, Melbourne

If you are a book lover, then it's close to impossible to pass by The Paperback when in Melbourne.  The Paperback showcases a huge range of interesting and diverse books, and an inspiring window display that entice you to enter.  

Located at the top end of Bourke Street, the shop area is small and packed floor to ceiling with books, so be prepared to move around for other book lovers.  But what a great way to strike up a conversation on which books they are looking for and love!



3.  Readings Bookstore Carlton

Readings is an independent retailer of books, music and film, with seven shops operating in Melbourne at DoncasterHawthornMalvernSt Kilda and the State Library of Victoria– as well as a speciality children’s and young adult bookshop, but the one we absolutely love is Carlton Readings.  A must visit (please tell my husband this) when catching an arthouse movie at the Nova Cinema.   We witnessed amazing local community support when the American Borders opened across the road. It could have been a disaster for Readings, but it was always remained busy, even when Borders was offering tempting discounts.  Where Borders used to be, you can relax with coffee and cake at Brunetti's. Plus, look at all its late night opening hours — perfect for feeding the book obsession and post movie experience.

4. The Little Bookstore - Carlton North

This gorgeous little bookshop was the first children's bookstore in Australia, The Little Bookroom opened in 1960 and has operated during this time with only 3 sets of owners.  The original owner, Albert Ullin decided to focus his love for contemporary children's literature and illustration into an Australian first: he would open a bookshop devoted solely to children's books.

In 1967, Albert sold the shop to 3 devoted staff members, Christine Andell, Debra Kelly and Sarah Portelli spent ten wonderful years immersed in children's books before unsealing the shop to one their employees, Leesa Lambert and her parents Lesley and Ian in early 2008.

This shop has truly been loved, and this shines through when visiting.  Beautiful gifts for children that will be passed on for generations.

5. The Brunswick Street Bookstore - Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

For the past 30 years, in the middle of the fast paced Brunswick Steet, amongst all the café's, restaurants and vintage and indie clothing stores you will find a calming bookstore.  Opening it's doors in 1987, within 2 years a change of location was required to accommodate the growth in population of Fitzroy.

The Brunswick Street Bookstore  is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy street.  Another beautiful bookstore where you can become lost for hours in perusal style, exploring the variety of books on offer.

Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

Jenna Guillaume / BuzzFeed

6. The Avenue Bookstore - Dundas Place, Albert Park

When visiting Albert Park, amongst the strip of gorgeous shops in Dundas Place, you will find the Avenue Bookstore.  Enter into a world of books.  You can explore the latest releases, fiction books, cookbooks and children's books, but then travel upstairs to appear in a huge room full of stunning photographed filled fashion, architecture and art books.

And if you haven't overstayed your welcome perusing the many books available, you can enjoy the comforts of their seating arrangements to enjoy the experience longer with a great book of your own.

Avenue Bookstores are part of a chain of stores and can also be located in Richmond and Elsternwick.

Avenue Bookstores are located in Albert Park, Richmond and Elsternwick.

Avenue Bookstores are located in Albert Park, Richmond and Elsternwick.

7. Book Bonding In Gisborne - Hamilton Street, Gisborne

Here's a book destination that's definitely worth the forty minutes' drive from Melbourne.   Located within the Macedon Ranges, Gisborne is a fun town to explore before spending a day exploring the surrounding towns of Macedon and Mount Macedon. Located on the main street of Gisborne, the Book Bonding bookstore is the obvious creation of a booklover with its delicious and intelligent selection that suits many a taste, ranging from classics and crime to popular. And there is a brilliant gardening, cooking and children sections.

Owners Natasha and Mark have a wealth of knowledge on books and will be happy to accommodate your book needs.   They hold many author events to attend.  Also regular writers at Cazinc.

A author event at Book Bonding

A author event at Book Bonding

We hope you enjoyed our selection of bookshops.  There are so many to enjoy.  We would love to hear where your favourite bookshops are and what you are reading at the moment.

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