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Celebrating National Bookshop Day: What’s your favourite bookshop?

August 8, 2016

ReadingsIt’s 2016 National Bookshop Day this Saturday, August 13. A day when all around Austalia bookshops and their customers are encouraged to celebrate bookshops. The event is supported by The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) and the aim is “to celebrate the role of your bookshop in your community,” according to the ABA website.

“National Bookshop Day celebrates bookshops, promotes their value in the community, and invites customers to return to or support their local bookshop.”

To mark the occasion, the Better Reading Team came up with just a few of our favourite bookshops around the world. Please let us know your favourite bookshops around Australia in the comments below or in the thread on our Facebook page (photos welcome of course.) We’ll update this article with some of the best comments and photos.

Beth Nevile, Better Reading Kids

Paperchain Bookstore, Canberra

This shop is something special. You walk in and the atmosphere is so warm – you’ll be greeted by a staff member (probably holding a cup of tea) who wants nothing more than to help you find the perfect book. The store is open nice long hours, so it’s easy to settle into a comfy chair and ‘forget’ to leave… 

The Strand, New York City

This bookstore is home to over 18 miles of books – that’s 28 kilometres! I’ve been several times, and never made it above the first floor (there’s 3.5). It has old, rare and new books and well as truckloads of gifts for book nerds. Heaven. 

Jemma Rowe, Marketing Assistant

Sappho Books Cafe & Wine Bar, Sydney

Located in Glebe, with a courtyard out the back that is soothing by day and magical by night, there’s nothing you can’t love about the old style bookstore and it’s funky counterpart restaurant/cafe. As a secondhand bookstore, you can find some real treasures on their antique wooden shelves, while listening to the local music and bands they have playing during the week. Did I mention there is also a fabulous wine selection? 

Anne’s Secondhand Bookshop, Nowra

It’s an enormous cornucopia of literary works. Its range of authors and books is so voluminous that it overflows over the shelves onto the floor. Literally. With so many stacks of books in every crease available, it is easy to lose yourself. Just remember to keep your elbows in.

Waterstones, London

Located in Gower Street, it is Europe’s largest academic/specialist range bookshop and an absolute treat to walk through. This bookshop contains three floors of general interest books and two specialist academic floors, and not to mention a basement where you will find the Rare and Antiquarian department which contains their most recent acquisitions and collections of antique books. Give yourself two hours to be immersed, because guarantee, no matter what holds your interest, there will be a whole three walls filled with it.

megalongLiz Durnan, Website & Social Media Editor

Burnet’s Books, Uralla, (near Armidale)

Okay, so I’ve only been there once, but I love an old bookstore with lots of ancient books and equally old but comfy sofas that also serves coffee and food. In the middle of New England, New South Wales, it’s the perfect place to relax and read a book on a cold winter day.

Berkelouw Book Barn, Berrima

In the southern highlands of New South Wales, on the grounds of a winery, is this converted barn that is a large bookshop featuring a fabulous range of second hand books, some new books, great food, a huge fireplace and of course wine.

Megalong Books, Leura

Closer to home for me is the lovely bookshop on the main drag of this tourist-filled village of the Upper Blue Mountains. Once inside, it’s a haven for browsing and the staff are always very helpful and knowledgeable.

Cheryl Akle, Better Reading Director

I love so many bookshops, it’s too difficult for me to pick only a few. Of course I love my local, Berkelouw Books at Leichhardt, but where ever I am in Australia or the world, I’ll always check out the local bookstores. Browsing a bookstore has to be one of my favourite activities.

To find out about events in your area check out the National Bookshop Day Facebook page 

Please let us know what’s your favourite bookstore in the comments below or on the Facebook thread. Send us any photos too!


Buzzfeed: 17 Spectacular Bookshops in Australia to See Before You Die 

Here’s a selection of some of our readers’ favourites bookshops:

‘Archives Fine Books in Charlotte St in Brisbane City. It has second hand books and antique ones too PLUS they have a photo of Bernard from Black Books!’

‘Cannot go past Readings in Carlton. It has its own unique personality, and the best collection of books to be found…and the staff there are great too!’

‘Poet bookshop in Bangalow NSW. A fascinating collection of books. Not your usual book shop at all.’

 ‘Basement Books at Central Station Sydney. Doesn’t have latest releases but they’re good and cheap so you can by so much more!’

‘Eltham Bookshop in Eltham, Victoria – great range of books especially brilliant at promoting local authors.’

 ‘Love my local – Berkelouw’s in Leichhardt. Very helpful staff and lovely second hand browsing upstairs.’

 ‘Well, it used to be borders in Adelaide, but since that’s not there anymore, would have to be Dymocks.’

  Lol … The library … can’t really afford books but QBD is a place I always look in when I have time to spare 🙂

‘Lorne Beach Books, Mounjoy Parade in Lorne. Love buying my books from there. Wonderfully friendly staff.’


‘Subiaco Bookshop on Rd Subiaco WA. Up the steps us an emporium of beautiful books.’
 ‘The Elizabethan Bookstore on Hay Street, WA. Great atmosphere, lots of choice, good deals. Readers’ heaven!
I loved the Black Cat at Paddington in Brissie, it was beautiful. ????’
Whileaway Bookshop & Cafe in Port Douglas! Coffee, books, great customer service all in the tropics! Can’t be beat.’

‘Love Vintage Books, Willoughby Rd Willoughby in Sydney and A Reader’s Heaven, Mort St Lithgow NSW’

‘Abbey’s Bookshop, Sydney. Brilliant, and independent.’

‘Matilda’s bookshop, Stirling SA’

‘Better Read Than Dead, King St, Newtown, NSW’

‘Readings in Carlton, my favourite shop ever!’

‘Book Bonding, Essendon. Great owners, staff & range of books.’
‘Readings in Carlton, Melbourne.’
‘Dymocks in Adelaide is my home away from home.’

‘Mary Ryans Hervey Bay’

‘Riverbend in Bulimba, Brisbane.’
‘Great escape books, Airey’s Inlet, VIC’


‘Barefoot Books in Busselton is great ????’

‘Dillons of Norwood SA’

 ‘@diabolikbooks Perth.’

‘Avid Reader, West End, Brisbane ????????????’

‘Eltham Bookshop’

‘Meg’s Book Shop, Port Pirie SA’

‘Mary Ryan’s Hervey Bay !!!!’

‘Mockingbird Lounge ????’

‘Readings on :ygon street’

‘Berkelouw bookstore is fabulous. Each and every store is a delight. Not only new, but 2nd hand and antiquarian books for sale also. You can always find something special. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful, articulate and well-read! Always good coffee at each of their locations as well :)’

‘Crow books in East Vic Park – very lucky to have this gem of a shop within walking distance.’

Great country book shop in Pt Pirie SA – Megs Bookshop’

Leeane Woollard's photo.

‘Poet book shop in Bangalow.’

Jill Ritson's photo.

‘Bowral Books’

‘Book passion Belconnen, ACT’

 ‘I like Booktopia because it will always source books for you.’


  1. Suzan Philipsemn

    My favourite book shop has to be in the Queen street in Brisbane there is an abundance of books upstairs than you walk down a few steps an there is a coffee shop to sit an enjoy your purchase over a coffee

  2. Loraine

    I just love the bookshop, Love That Book, at Westfield Helensvale, Qld. All the staff are well read and totally up to speed with the latest authors, and can always give a run-down on the latest novels on the shelves in any genre.
    I also volunteer my reading services to the shop as it gives another perspective to their customers, and they in turn write said on their Facebook page.
    The staff invariably have the latest books put aside for my weekly shopping spree, even choosing some that I may not have even thought about reading.
    Sometimes it can just be the cover that grabs my eye as I have an eclectic taste, though I’m not too partial for horror, sport or fantasy.

  3. Di Cartwright

    Riverbend Books on Oxford Street, Bulimba. The shop is fantastic, the staff are amazing and incredibly helpful.

  4. Peter Annear

    Gawler Books at Willaston in SA would have to be among the best private bookstores in Australia.
    The type of place that combines both past and present and makes you wish you had more time to read.

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