The Best BookShops In Vic

by Renae Failla

As we edge into the depths of the digital age we see bookshop upon bookshop closing their doors. It’s sad, I mean what happened to the delight of kids using their pocket money to purchase their favourite book. We live in a reality where we are constantly sitting at computer screens. Whether it be from the morning when we wake up and eat breakfast, during the day when we are at work or sneaking in our favourite tv show before bed. It is true, we can’t escape this wave of technology, however, these independent bookstores have proved that not all good bookstores are lost and there is a plethora of curated content waiting on their shelves.

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The Brunswick Street Bookstore

www.brunswickstreetbookstore.com

The Brunswick Bookstore has been around since 1987. Their aim is to provide friendly service to customers while they browse and stock a large variety of books from fiction, to cookbooks to kid friendly picture books. The owner Peter Mews tells us what sets them apart from the rest.

Who is your customer base?

Our customer base would be those from the Inner city, educated. We appeal to all ages and those who come from all walks of life.

How have you survived in the digital age? What is your point of difference to other bookstores?

Independent curated content and quality service.

What is your favourite book of the month?

My favourite book of the month would be Adult fantasy by author Briohny Doyle. It is a book that has a contemporary feminist view of adulthood.

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Eltham Book Shop

www.facebook.com/elthambookshop/

The Eltham Bookshop is a quaint little bookshop located in Melbourne’s north easterly suburbs. Featuring a myriad of wonderful titles this cosy place aims to support the local literary community of publishers and that’s why we love it!

Who is your customer base?

My customer base is my community in Nillumbik and Banyule Shires. Avid readers young and old, book club members, readers who are curious, adventurous, browsers and not stuck on ‘bestsellers’ lists.

How have you survived in the digital age? What is your point of difference to other bookstores?

The bookshop’s life has been a rollercoaster and it keeps going like that. Online and Amazon are not fair playgrounds to be competing with. They are taking the joy of discovery, of the excitement of being present in a space filled with ideas and the life work of creative artists. The bookshop is fiercely independent and takes pride in curating its stock so that when people walk in they see the love and care with which words are treated. We do support local publishers and social justice issues and over 20 years have hosted an author event every week, plus literary festivals in partnership with universities, community groups and schools.

What is your favourite book of the month?

I have just finished reading Michael Chabon’s ‘Moon Glow’ and am currently reading an advance copy of Arundhati’s new book ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’. Both are masterly works detailing history, politics, endeavors of ordinary people to make something of their lives. Both are written in a penmanship that makes you pause and delight in the power of language and creative expression.

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Embiggen Books

www.embiggenbooks.com

Embiggen Books, located on Little Lonsdale Street is the perfect place to curl up with a book and of course a hot chocolate. They have no online shop so they really do encourage face to face interaction.

“We have put a lot of effort into creating a store that’s a pleasure to browse in and that pays respect to the books we hold, so all we really want is to see you come through our door.”

We spoke to Warren from Embiggen Books to see how they stand out from the crowd.

Who is your customer base?

That’s a hard question really it would be businesses in the area. All sorts of people.

How have you survived in the digital age? What is your point of difference to other bookstores?

I would say that our point of difference is that each store curates their own books with a very unique selection

What is your favourite book of the month?

At the moment I would like to read Ten Types of Human by Dexter Dias.

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The Little Library

Now, this one is the smallest of all Independent bookshops– but you probably remember it from your sprints to the train station as you run to catch the train that arrives in 2 minutes. At this bookstore, you won’t need your wallet, only a much-loved book that you are ready to pass on to someone else. It is a community-based bookstore that allows you to swap one of your own books in place for a new title

This bookstore is open to all and of course, its point of difference to other bookstores is the fact that it offers an innovative solution for bookworms. Even the digital age is no feat for this mini library.

Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery- Sorrento

www.antipodesbookshop.com

This one is my personal favourite because I have so many childhood memories of sitting out the back in the kids-teen section and if we were all good enough (my brother, sister and myself) then our parents would promise to buy us one of our favourite books- I loved this more than anything.

Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery is an amazing place which is hidden at the end of the main street in the coastal town Sorrento. They also have some amazing art hidden amongst the books so there is always something new to look at when you go in. The staff are friendly and they are happy to help with staff recommendations in any category.

What is your favourite book of the month?

Their book of the month is The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy that focuses on the theme ‘Love can heal everything’.

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There has never been a better time to get reading whether it be getting back into or continuing the love of. I know I can’t wait to get into these intriguing recommended titles!

We know there are so many more! So please be sure to comment below on your fave independant bookstore!

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