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21 of The Best Bookshops in Australia To Visit in 2020

Bookshop. Image by Cottonbro via Pexels.

Looking for the best bookshops in Australia? We’ve found them.

Great bookshops entice pedestrians with an eclectic personality and an air of curiosity.

They don’t have to be large, nor do they have to be modern; all a bookstore really needs is a unique selection and well-versed staff.

Good bookshops curate the right mix of stories for their attentive visitors, unlike the larger chains which simply sell the most popular stories. And the best booksellers reveal their inner-style through the world they inhabit, and through the booksellers that loiter around the cash register.

Whether you’re looking for an independent bookstore or Australia’s largest bookshop, these literary havens will have you intrigued for hours. Keep reading for 21 of Australia’s best bookshops

Collect your bookmarks and let’s go.

New South Wales

Kinokuniya
Image by PJ Accetturo via Unsplash.

Kinokuniya

Nestled up above in The Galeries along George Street in Sydney’s CBD is Kinokuniya. The Japanese influence is seen through their vast range of manga comics and selection of Japanese authors, but they also sell a wide variety of stories that span the globe. Kinokuniya is just like a Japanese version of Dymocks made for Sydneysiders.

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500 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000
Better Read Than Dead
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Better Read Than Dead

As well as having a quirky name, Better Read Than Dead also shares a quaint selection of books. Their towering bookshelves house a collection that would make the curious novel-reader inquisitive. As you side-step along the walls with your head coursing up and down, make sure to stop and read the recommendation tags.

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265 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042
Abbey's Bookshop
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Abbey's Bookshop

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another standard bookselling enterprise, but Abbey’s Bookshop houses one of the best selections of sci-fi and fantasy novels in Sydney which takes up nearly the whole second floor of the building – something that is eagerly awaiting your presence. The ground level houses everything else, from fiction to nonfiction.

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131 York St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Tasmania

Fullers Bookshop
Image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.

Fullers Bookshop

It’s 90-years-old and still going strong, thanks to the community-oriented approach Fullers Bookshop has taken. Get a touch of local talent mixed in with literary gods as you sip on a latte from the in-house cafe. Feel free to ask the knowledgeable shop staff for recommendations.

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131 Collins St, Hobart, TAS 7000
The Book Cellar
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The Book Cellar

They say that you can’t rewrite history, but you can certainly read it here! In between Hobart and Launceston is Campbell Town, a locale filled with plenty of convict history. But, it contains what is arguably the best small-size bookshop in Tasmania: The Book Cellar. Situated in a convict-built coaching inn, this quaint bookstore shares more than just great books.

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132 High St, Campbell Town, TAS 7210
Petrarch's Bookshop
Image by Ergita Sela via Unsplash.

Petrarch's Bookshop

Named after the Italian poet Petrarca, Petrarch’s Bookshop is Launceston’s top spot for book shopping. Whether you’re looking for a new popular novel, an old classic in hardcover or even some local inspiration, Petrarch’s should be top of your mind.

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89 Brisbane St, Launceston, TAS 7250

Victoria

The Paperback
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The Paperback

There are two types of bookshops these days: “nicely filled” and “completely filled”. The Paperback Bookshop is the latter, with every nook and cranny accounted for. When you consider its tiny size, you won’t blame them though. Step inside for a fabulous time-killer or to simply breathe in the smell of old and new books.

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60 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Paradise Bookshop
Image by Nick Fewings via Unsplash.

Paradise Bookshop

If you’re looking for paradise, you won’t find it in Melbourne’s CBD. The Paradise Bookshop can be found in Daylesford, about 90-kilometres north-west of the Melbourne city circle. A paradise to say the least, their bookshelves feature the new and old commingled in harmony and teeming with life. Happy hunting!

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46 Vincent St, Daylesford, VIC 3460
Book Mark
Image by Henry Be via Unsplash.

Book Mark

If you continue driving in a northerly direction from Daylesford, chances are you’ll stop in Bendigo. If you do, treat yourself with a visit to Book Mark, one of Victoria’s best second-hand bookstores. It’s laden with all sorts of used books and is always ready for a gander. Because who doesn’t love finding a hidden second-hand treasure?

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24 High St, Bendigo, VIC 3550

South Australia

Imprints Booksellers
Image by Ugur Akdemir via Unsplash.

Imprints Booksellers

Imprints Booksellers have a vast knowledge of books, with a sixth sense for what makes their regular clientele tick. But it’s their store interior that stretches the lips and gleams the eyes. Sky blue walls hover above the vibrant brown shelves, welcoming in the curious reader with little effort.

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107 Hindley St, Adelaide, SA 5000
O'Connell's Bookshop
Books Sign. Image by Cesar Viteri via Unsplash.

O'Connell's Bookshop

Reading a new book is great, but nothing beats picking up a book that has already been read. O’Connell’s Bookshop specialises in old books, and it’s a must-visit for anyone who loves the smell and touch of pre-loved volumes of lore or the odd narrative. A few hours browsing can’t hurt, right?

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19 Bank St, Adelaide, SA 5000
Matilda Bookshop
Image by Freddie Marriage via Unsplash.

Matilda Bookshop

As we all know, the best bookshops in Australia are the ones that take their time getting to know what their customers love. Matilda Bookshop is no different. Whether you want to immerse yourself in a fantasy world or scrutinise the real world, you’ll find your way here. All you have to do is ask.

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1/8 Mt Barker Rd, Stirling, SA 5152

Western Australia

Boffins Books
Image by Valentin Antonini via Unsplash

Boffins Books

Boffins Books is an eclectic mix of titles, colours and literary fanatics. The staff members are filled with novel ideas and knowledge, while the surrounding layout is both modern and a little mysterious. Whether you’re looking to explore locally, internationally or otherworldly, you’ll find it here.

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88 William St, Perth, WA 6000
Planet Books
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Planet Books

Planet Books refuses to conform to the standard bookshop ideal. They aim for quirky and odd. They strive to challenge you with a slightly left-wing agenda. And they’re also open late most nights, which makes for a perfect getaway in the evening. Also, there are two Planet Books stores in Perth. Your choice, dear reader.

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638 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley, WA 6050 & 192 William St, Northbridge, WA 6000
Elizabeth's Bookshop
Image by Clay Banks via Unsplash.

Elizabeth's Bookshop

Elizabeth’s Bookshop has blossomed into a much-loved entity during their 40-year reign. Even Sydney’s in on the action with their own Elizabeth Bookshop franchise. Their selection ranges between the popular, the slightly odd and the tongue-in-cheek. If you’re unsure, surprise yourself with a pre-wrapped blind date book.

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856 Hay St, Perth, WA 6000

Northern Territory

Caryota Book Exchange
Image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.

Caryota Book Exchange

The owner of Caryota Book Exchange proudly boasts that they have more books than the local library, so this is your go-to destination if you’ve landed in Darwin. They even have a few hideaway spots throughout the store and a courtyard for you to read, relax and sip on a cool beverage.

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10/10 Caryota Ct, Coconut Grove, NT 0810
The Bookshop
Image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.

The Bookshop

Nothing says “humble” and “unfussy” like a bookshop with a simple name – and these guys really are those two things. Buying a book is always better than borrowing, as you can gift it or give it away to someone else once you’re finished with it. Two birds, one stone! Keep an eye out for local authors for a truly unique touch.

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1/30 Smith Street Mall, Darwin, NT 0800
Red Kangaroo Books
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Red Kangaroo Books

Hard copy books are so popular that even the centre of Australia sells them. Whether you live in Alice Springs or are stopping by, make sure to visit Red Kangaroo Books which sell a well-chosen selection of local authors and stories. It’s also one of the best ranges of Indigenous literature and ethos.

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79 Todd Mall, Alice Springs, NT 0870

Queensland

Avid Reader
Image by Daniel Alvasd via Unsplash.

Avid Reader

Are you an avid reader? If so, then don’t miss this store. At Avid Reader, you’ll find great modern fiction novels and nonfiction texts. They also host a range of book clubs, from young at heart to bloody crime, as well as a special section for kids aptly called Where The Wild Things Are.

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193 Boundary St, West End, QLD 4101
Mary Who?
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Mary Who?

Brisbane is nice, but not all of us live there. So if you’re anywhere near Townsville then check out the Mary Who? Bookshop. It is a winner of best regional store by Australian Independent Bookseller in 2011, and it’s still going strong. As well as an amazing array of books, visitors should buy their chocolate too.

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414 Flinders St, Townsville, QLD 4810
Archives Fine Books
Image by Takahiro Taguchi via Unsplash.

Archives Fine Books

Archives Fine Books proudly boasts about having one million books on every topic, which means this place is huge. If you’re looking for collectables or that really hard-to-find author, this is your best bet. They also sell art and antiquarian books and all the famous classics in hardcover.

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40 Charlotte St, Brisbane, QLD 4000

Not satisfied yet? We’ve got plenty more articles for all the Australian bookworms out there. If you’re feeling thirsty, why not check out our list of the top 10 bookstore cafes across the country. Perhaps you’re wondering what to buy? We’ve already done the hard work for you with our top 10 Australian books to add to your reading list this year, or if you’re looking for a classic, you’ll find those books that you’ve been meaning to read here.

This article was first published on 30 November 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on 13 October 2020.
Feature image: Photographed by Cottonbro via Pexels.
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