After travelling with the Tiger, it seemed like we visited so many literary areas that I thought it warranted a mention in Book Bites itself. It’s not a comprehensive list, but I think it can make up a substantial Book Trail for those who are interested.
Adelaide PopUp Bookshop
The first bookshop we chanced upon on our first day in Australia!
It gave us a travelling-indie-bookshop vibe, so we thought it would be cool to take a look. Like many travelling shops we’ve seen, the décor was kept at the bare minimum, but they had quite a good range of contemporary and classic books.
Sparse, but simple
Perusing their selection
Yeap, look them up =)
What surprised me was the fact that they did, indeed, sell Pop-Up Books! And not those kinds we are used to as children, some of them had skillfully intricate designs that were interactive to the reader. So literally, a Pop-Up Book Store.
The Adelaide PopUp Bookshop is located at 50 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000 (for now). For more information, click here.
I would go out on a limb here and say that this is as close as you can get to Kinokuniya in Australia. I have seen their Twitter a few times and they seem to be rather up and happening with Author sessions and the works.
Browsing with a peek from the POP! Vinyl Figures
We went here while going through Rundle Mall on our second day and ended up getting a few interesting postcards and a stuffed wombat (Many thanks to the Tiger on this!)
Dymocks is located at 135 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000. For more information, click here.
Adelaide Writers’ Week
Needless to say, we were both rather amazed at the book tent and signing area at the Adelaide Writers’ Week. I loved how the volunteers would take time to arrange a featured section where writers who were having a panel that particular day in the middle of the tent, so buyers can have easier access.
Entrance to the book tent
The book tent, with all the books arranged by Author and with a middle table featuring books by the authors appearing that day.
It was also great to see how high the sales for the books were, and how the proceeds for the sales just go back to keeping the festival mostly free for the public.
The Adelaide Writers’ Week is held in conjunction with the Adelaide Festival. For more information, click here.
Hill of Content
The first shop we entered after lunch in Melbourne, attracting us with its intriguing façade. So imagine our joy when we found out it was a bookstore.
It caught our eye from across the street
View, Draco-Malfoy-looking-down style ;)
Two storeys were open for the public, with fiction and non-fiction on the upper floor and children’s, YA, and stationery or gifts on the ground floor. The dark mahogany gives an incredibly literary feel, with the same antique book scent wafting through the air. Great selection of books, and it shares a building with a publishing office, so it’s literary in and out.
Hill of Content is located at 86 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
The Book Grocer
I love the branch we went to because everything was $10 tops!
Like the Pop-Up Bookstore in Adelaide, decor was at its bare minimum. Yet, the shelves were stocked and organized well, with everything under $10 – including classics, graphic novels, and many others. The Tiger kind of went crazy with the graphic novels while I ended up getting something by a crime fic author I’ve not seen before. And Minority Report. (Dances)
To be honest, the “Book Sale” caught our eye. We nearly ran across the road getting to this place.
Reminds me of Littered with Books, with their recommendations.
How can you not love a Book Store which loves reading as much as we do?
The Book Grocer is located at 147–149 Russell Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
Reader’s Feast Bookstore
At this point, the Tiger tweeted – 5 hours in Melbourne and we’ve already been to three bookshops. Send help. (or something along those lines)
Reader’s Feast was huge and spacious. The high ceilings and elaborate lights reflecting against the Greco-Roman white within the shop made it look incredibly grand. Book range comparable to Dymocks and Kino, I loved their reading corners and the writer’s meet-and-greet corner that was specifically set aside.
Their staff were incredibly helpful as well, offering options after the Tiger’s request was found to not be in stock.
From the Collins Street Main Entrance
Equipped with writer’s corner and all
Reader’s Feast Bookstore is located at 162 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
The Little Bookroom
A recommendation from our friend Choo, located on the rather happening DeGraves Street. The Little Bookroom, like its name, specializes in books for little ones.
I’d bring my children to this place.
For children’s books and accessories =)
Mostly picture books, comics, and children’s stories, entering the shop felt like entering a whimsical world of literary goodness. What struck me the most were the parody books, local YA, and their kid-friendly classics – a great way to get children to start reading.
The Little Bookroom is located at 5 DeGraves Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
Another recommendation from Choo, they specialize in specialty stationery and a huge selection of magazines.
What I liked about this place was not just the selection, but the reading areas and the organization of all the titles. I think Australia is one of the few countries where I still see companies advertising and having full stores for publications regularly (saw a commercial for a magazine at least a dozen times the whole time we were there).
ROWS AND ROWS!!!
Mr Men and Little Miss Egg Cups!
Scrabble merch =) (We kinda had to stop ourselves)
Up to the second level and reading areas
I’m seriously in love with shops that do this. It’s quite amazing.
Mag Nation is located at 88 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
State Library of Victoria
I think any Book Trail will be incomplete without a visit to the library. Especially the State Library of Victoria.
…yes, it is!
Students playing some major chess outside the building
One of the cute little displays they had in the library display areas
You know it’s original because it’s missing an “E”
Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature, and after visiting their library, it’s not difficult to see why. The commitment to designing and maintaining the State Library is highly commendable.
My favourite (and possibly the Tiger’s as well) area would definitely be the famed Reading Room. Not only does it look positively conducive for any form of work (thanks to the tons of natural light coming in from the high dome and windows), it feels like you stepped into the library of Prince Adam (Beast from Beauty and the Beast) or the Library of Congress.
Not visiting the State Library of Victoria while in Melbourne City is kind of like saying you haven’t been to Melbourne City. Well, at least in my book.
We were wondering what this seat was actually for.
View from the second level
Gorgeous view from the top level
The State Library of Victoria is located at 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
City Basement Books
It was funny how we chanced upon this place because Jun Lynn, a friend of the Tiger, sent us a photo of this store as one of the places she would recommend us to go take a look at.
Down the stairs of wonder…
And into this quaint collection.
Look them up!
It’s a quaint little shop, inconspicuously located along Flinders’ Street.
Descending down the stairs, it gives a rather Ollivander’s feel, with books stacked almost from floor to ceiling. Despite the somewhat messy first glance, this place is actually well-stocked and well-organized. Sections and genres were clearly labelled with books placed in their serials and authors.
Generally, you could find secondhand books in great condition, together with the possible rare find of long-discontinued or out-of-print books.
City Basement Books is located at 342 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For more information, click here.
There were many other bookstores we gave a miss to while we were in the city, mostly for the interest of time and travel. If you’ve visited any interesting bookstores, do feel free to share them in the comments!