Coronavirus: Due to the current situation, events may be cancelled at short notice and businesses may temporarily close. Check with the venue before planning to attend. More information on coronavirus.

A book lover’s guide to Melbourne

As the only City of Literature in Australia, Melbourne’s love affair with books has a long history. With Love Your Bookshop Day on Saturday 8 August, now’s the time to hit up Melbourne’s iconic book stores. Here are a few to browse.

Paperback Bookshop

The Paperback Bookshop has been a champion of the independent book scene since the 1960s. Browse their digital bookshelves and lose yourself among the pages of literary greats. Can’t find what you want? They’re always happy to order in special titles for their lit head fans.

Exterior of a bookshop on a city street

Paperback Bookshop

City Basement Books

If you prefer books of the papery kind rather than the type that emit blue light, City Basement Books is for you. This cosy dungeon of secondhand books will take you from out-of-print rarities to popular fiction – all for a fraction of the original price.

Books for Cooks

What’s old is new again as avid chefs and foodie readers flock back to printed recipe books. Discover the likes of Ottolenghi or take a chance on one of the many antiquarian books on wine, food and the culinary arts. Books for Cooks is a must visit every time you swing by the market.

Metropolis Books

If you’re looking for creative inspiration, head to Metropolis Books in Art Deco gem Curtin House. Culture vultures will love the selection of specialist books on art, graphic design, music, film and architecture.

A man looking at a book surrounded by bookshelves in a bookstore

Metropolis Books

Kay Craddock-Antiquarian Bookseller

Kay Craddock 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. Reopening 22 June.

Readings Carlton

It’s no mean feat to be the winner of the inaugural International Bookstore of the Year award by the London Book Fair. But Readings Kids Carlton has managed to survive and thrive in the digital age. It’s a like a cerebral playground for little imaginations to run wild. The store for grown-ups, Readings Carlton, has also been recently renovated. Check out their swish new shelves on Lygon Street.

Wayward books

Shaded by leafy trees and wedged between a variety of cafés in Kensington is Wayward Books. Peruse the shelves to find books that will stretch your mind and satisfy your quirky side.

For more bookish inspiration, browse all bookstores in Melbourne.

Due to Covid-19 health restrictions, most bookshops currently limit the number of customers allowed in store at any one time. Customers are also expected to practise social distancing of 1.5 metres. Online purchases are available from most bookshops and contactless payment is preferred. Please see individual websites for more information.