Melbourne is the centre of one of the most engaged and energetic bookselling communities in Australia. With a range of bookshops from hole-in-the-wall laneway bookshops to some of the largest bookshops in Australia, it includes independent, specialist and antiquarian booksellers as well as flagship shops for some of Australia’s leading national book retailers. Victoria is also blessed with some of the best regional bookshops in the country.
Melbourne boasts bookshops like Readings (International Bookstore of the Year 2016) and Avenue Bookstore who has been named Australian Bookseller of the Year on numerous occasions, and along with Hill of Content, Paperback Bookshop and Dymocks are famous for their range of selection as well their readings and events. In the suburbs you’re likely to run across a quality independent or national bookseller on just about any ‘high’ street from Frankston (Robinsons) to Yarraville (Sun Books). Specialist bookshops like The Little Bookroom or Younger Sun (children’s books), Books for Cooks (cookery), Collected Works (poetry and ideas), Metropolis Bookshop (architecture, arts and design) and the Foreign Language Bookshop just scratch the surface of Melbourne’s diversity. Most of these shops have regular events from fiction and poetry readings to children's storytelling to book clubs.
Antiquarian and quality secondhand booksellers abound in Melbourne, and are proactive in supporting an international ANZAAB Melbourne Rare Book Fair at the University of Melbourne annually. Some of the leading antiquarian sellers include Kay Craddock, Sainsbury’s and Douglas Stewart Fine Books. In regional Victoria, Ros Greenwood's Old and Rare Books in Dunkeld is a feast for lovers of old books. Clunes is well worth a visit for their annual Clunes Booktown antiquarian book festival, and offers literary events year-round.
The Great Ocean Road is home to bookshops like The Bookshop at Queenscliff, Torquay Books and Great Escape Books, as well as the massive second-hand/antiquarian bookseller in Geelong, Barwon Booksellers. The rambling maze of rooms that make up Paradise Books (new, second-hand and antiquarian) means you can truly get lost in a good bookshop in Daylesford and Farrells Bookshop in Mornington holds its own festival! Squishy Minnie is a children and young-people’s bookstore in Kyneton, only 60 minutes north of Melbourne.
The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) the peak body for Australian bookshops is based in Melbourne and runs Love Your Bookshop Day while the City of Melbourne provides an online overview of the city-based bookshops. Also available from the Melbourne Visitor Centre and The Wheeler Centre reception are our City of Literature Walking Maps. These provide an overview of bookshop locations in the CBD and inner suburbs and are very popular with tourists and local book-lovers alike! It even has its very own hashtag, #litmapofmelbourne.
For the comprehensive list of bookshops visit the Australian Booksellers Association website.