As the only City of Literature in Australia, Melbourne’s love affair with books has a long history. In 1922, the Hill of Content Bookshop opened at the top end of Bourke Street, near another Melbourne institution, The Paperback Bookshop, in what was known as the seediest part of town. How times have changed.
If you’re looking for something to curl up with, here are six more city bookstores to browse.
Despite its proximity to the State Library, you don’t need to be an academic to appreciate the quality of books devoted to the realms of science, history, design and philosophy. A curious mind and thirst for knowledge is all that’s required.
City Basement Books
If you prefer books of the papery kind rather than the type that emit blue light, this cosy dungeon of secondhand books will take you from childhood classics, out-of-print rarities to popular fiction – all for a fraction of the original price.
If you are looking for creative inspiration, Metropolis, housed up three flights of stairs within Art Deco building Curtin House, is well worth seeking out. Culture vultures will love this carefully curated array of specialist books on art, graphic design, music, film and architecture books.
Kay Craddock-Antiquarian Bookseller
This one is an oldie but a goodie. Established in Essendon back in 1965, they carry a large and varied stock of antiquarian and second-hand books, dating from the 15th to 21st centuries. Their city block has become the literary heart of Collins Street, offering something old, new and borrowed in books.
Readings Kids Carlton
It’s no mean feat to be the winner of the inaugural International Bookstore of the Year award by the London Book Fair. This independent bookstore has managed to survive and thrive in the digital age and also has a special store dedicated and designed for kids. It’s a like a cerebral playground for little imaginations to run wild.
The store for grown-ups, otherwise known as Readings Carlton has also just been renovated and reopened. Check out their swish new shelves on Lygon Street.
Shaded by leafy trees and wedged between a variety of cafés in Kensington, Wayward Books is definitely worth a visit. Peruse the shelves to find books to stretch your mind and satisfy the quirky, eclectic and individual nature of us all.
For more bookish inspiration, browse all bookstores in Melbourne.