Get Positively Lost in the Best Book Stores in Melbourne

The period between Christmas and New Year is pretty famous for having a stack of fresh books that you’re determined to read. And, with the last couple of years truly highlighting the importance of escapism, this just might be the year we get through our stack.

But if you’re struggling for inspiration, it’s likely you’ll be looking to spend the afternoon in a good book store. After all, there isn’t much that’s more wholesome than perusing independent literature in a beautifully curated and comfortingly quiet bookshop.

That being said, we’ve rounded up the best book stores for you to visit in Melbourne.

Instagram / @readingsbooks


Carlton & Emporium
Readings is by far one of the best — if not the best — book stores in Melbourne. They truly have it all; from bestsellers to the most trendy books of the moment, vintage classics, an all-encompassing array of fiction, beautiful coffee table books and even an amazing music section, complete with CD’s, records, autobiographies of famous musicians and picture books of iconic concert photography. Beyond having an undeniable selection of incredible literature, the Readings store are a true sensory experience. They’re aesthetically beautiful, with both stores designed by local Melbourne designers, encompassing minimalist and light-filled space, paired with gorgeous floral wallpaper. They play delightful music, the staff are lovely and you can literally spend hours in there. Trust.

Facebook / The Paperback Bookshop

The Paperback Bookshop

Bourke Street, CBD
The Paperback has been around since the 1960s and has been championing the independent literary scene before any of Melbourne’s other book stores. They have a great fiction collection, an impressive array of Australian non-fiction and are constantly stocking the work of new authors, and authors that have been around for a while but you’ve probably never heard of. The Paperback Bookshop is more than a bookshop; it’s an education. If you’re into the idea of reading more Australian literature, or finding yourself a new favourite author, spending an afternoon at The Paperback will have you inspired. It’s also open way after dark — till 8 pm on school nights and 9 pm on the weekend — which adds extra romantic allure, TBH.

Instagram / @hillofcontent

Hill of Content

Bourke Street, CBD
Arguably the most quintessential bookstore in Melbourne, Hill of Content spans across two elegant levels, with unmatched serenity in the middle of Melbourne’s bustling CBD. They have a considered range of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, as well as an impressive selection of international titles. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Hill of Content, we’d truly be surprised. Having opened its doors in 1922 — whoever says book stores have grown less popular are wrong — it’s one of the best-known literature destinations in Melbourne, having been well-established for almost a century. It’s a beautiful place to be, paying homage to its classic roots. The staff are super knowledgeable as well, which we love.

Via Ilab

Kay Craddock Antiquarian Booksellers

Collins Street, CBD
A trip to the Kay Craddock Antiquarian is a unique and special experience. Housed in the heritage Assembly Hall Building on Collins Street, this book store is more like the library of an old Victorian manor house; like the room, you’ve dreamt about finding at the end of a hidden tunnel behind a shelf or something. Filled with all the classics, first editions, rare collectable books and fantastical stories that will take you to the land of knights, mystical creatures, ancient history and real-life magic, you’ll be guaranteed to spend a little too much on a book that will bring you joy forever after. But even if you aren’t in a purchasing mood, this book store is worth a visit for the experience alone.

Instagram / @perimeterbooks

Perimeter Books

A newcomer to Melbourne’s independent lit scene, this little gem can be found in the trendy suburb of Thornbury and will satisfy all your specialist book delights. Run by an arts columnist and a fashion designer, Perimeter sets to highlight independent titles and small-batch beauties. They have a specific interest in design (shocker), so if you’re into all things niche aesthetic, then you’ll be in total heaven at Perimeter.

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