Saturday 10 August is Love Your Bookshop Day in Australia. I love bookshops every day of the year, but I thoroughly endorse the idea of shining the spotlight on them across the nation, and reminding ourselves of everything they bring to our lives.
Here are just a few of the things we love about our bookshops:
- They employ people who love books rather than people who write algorithms.
- They’re happy to talk books, and know what they’re talking about.
- They use their knowledge to make recommendations for your book club, or for Great-Aunt Joan’s birthday, or just for the way you happen to be feeling.
- They introduce you to new writers they think you’ll like.
- They provide an awesome way to spend an hour or two.
- They give you advance notice of when the next title in your child’s favourite series is due.
- They often host author talks or signings so you can meet local and visiting writers.
- They champion local writers and support small presses.
- They take an active role in their local communities.
- They might add value to your purchases—for example, offering signed copies or free gift wrapping at Christmas.
- And before long, they might even be calling you by your name when you walk through the door—not because you’re data but because they actually remember who you are.
Know any robotic global monoliths who can come even close? No, me neither.
To celebrate national Love Your Bookshop Day, I’m giving blog and newsletter subscribers the chance of winning two books:
a copy of one of the wonderful books I’ve featured on the blog this year—choose from:
Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage
Refuge by Richard Rossiter
Devil’s Ballast by Meg Caddy
Bodies of Men by Nigel Featherstone
Step Up, Mrs Dugdale by Lynne Leonhardt
The Children’s House by Alice Nelson
Driving Into the Sun by Marcella Polain
a copy of Kathleen O’Connor of Paris, with a few little Paris goodies thrown in.
To be in the draw, just tell me what you love about your favourite bookshop.*
* Enter by Friday 9 August. I’ll be drawing the winner on
Love Your Bookshop Day, 10 August, and announcing it that day.
* First make sure you’re a subscriber to looking up/looking down or my newsletter. Open to subscribers in Australia only.
23 responses to “Love Your Bookshop? Yes, we do!”
The problem is, which favourite bookshop? Let’s go with the National Library Bookshop, which I love because of its focus on Australian books, including keeping a reasonable selection of older books (and classics that have been reissued).
My other favourite ones in Canberra are Paperchain and Muse, with Harry Hartog close behind. All of these shops, including the NLA, offer great author events too.
I am hoping to do a Bookshop Day post next Saturday, but it will be a little different. However, I am holidaying at the moment so time may defeat me.
Well, I’ve been to the NLA bookshop, Sue, and loved it, and now I have three more in Canberra to visit some time. Thanks, and you’re first in the draw 🙂
Excellent Amanda… glad to promote some more bookshops.
And thanks re the draw – I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
I love all bookshops, but a couple I particularly enjoy are Boffins in central Perth, and Mainly Books in Northbridge. At Boffins, the feeling when you travel down that narrow escalator from the busyness outside to a quiet but expansive space packed with excellent books, is exciting, and I always find something different there, whether for a gift or for myself. Mainly Books is a second-hand shop, full of excellent quality books – I often find out-of-print Australian novels there, and just love browsing those shelves, overfull of aging volumes smelling just like the old ones I used to read in my grandfather’s study so many years ago. Can never get enough of that. I also love Beaufort Street Books in Mt Lawley because of the author events they often hold – I have attended several of these and they are always enjoyable despite the inevitable crowding in that small space!
I know what you mean about Boffins, Sue, and what a beautiful memory of your grandfather’s study. Thanks for these 🙂
I was trying to express what it is I enjoy about Boffins and you’ve captured it perfectly.
I’m not sure whether to thank you for bringing Mainly Books to my attention though!
You’ll find me wandering into any book shop I come across Amanda, but I do like the Millpoint Book Caffe in South Perth even though it’s not exactly my ‘local’ book shop. Partly because they stock books by West Australian writers, have some great inexpensive bookish gifts (book marks etc) and you can meet friends there for lunch or stop for a coffee while you’re browsing. I also like Crow Books in East Victoria Park because I’ve come across some beautiful hard-covered children’s books in there that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Great choices, Sue! I love both of these, too. Good luck with the draw 🙂
Bookshops have always been a place of curiosity and solace for me. I can forget my sadness whilst losing myself looking for treasure.
That’s beautiful, Kerrin. Thank you.
I love pretty much all bookshops (and libraries – how lucky are we with our libraries?) but if I have to nominate one as a favourite I’m going to go with Stefen’s Books on Murray Street. Not only does he know my name, he has recommended many books to me over the years. Plus he runs a monthly bookclub that always has great discussions.
That’s one I haven’t been to, Rhian. Thanks for the recommendation!
I love bookshops because they remind me of going to the library when I was a child. It was a great place of retreat and inner adventures. I like the Millpoint bookshop and cafe as it’s close by and I like meeting friends there and getting a good browse of the books first before they arrive.
Good point about the importance of our libraries, Jyoti, and I love Millpoint too 🙂
I love the great advise I get from my favourite book shops. Boffins in Perth and Dymocks in Joondalup are super in their help!
That’s great to hear, Deb. Bookshop people are so knowledgeable, aren’t they? 🙂
I love Paperbird Books in Fremantle for the fabulous and wide range of children’s books. Jen Jackson from Paperbird is a champion for local children’s authors and really gets behind local books. I also love Elizabeth’s – the sense that you’ll never know what you’ll find in there, plus Blind Date With A Book is such a fun and brilliant concept. We have so many brilliant bookshops in Perth such as Westbooks, Beaufort St Books and Crow Books just to mention a few. I love them all!
I’ve heard great things about Paperbird—I must visit sometime soon. And yes, I love them all, too! Thanks, Nadia 🙂
How could I possibly pick one!
Of all bookshops my favourite has to be The White Dwarf bookshop at the corner in front if the Perth train station. There’s something about the calm atmosphere, warm wood and incredible array of sci-fi and fantasy books that seems almost like home. I love the graphic novels and sarcastic books of essays they have on display and the conversations and incredible reccomendations from the staff.
I couldn’t very well not mention Rockigham books, because it’s the closest to me and has sold me some incredible books (and an obnoxious amount of them too) and has been the place to some amazing bookish conversations I’ve had. I love the staff of that bookshop to bits!!
(An honourable mention must go to Elizabeth’s secondhand bookshop in Freo and Perth, they’re incredible places to find pre-loved titles and the staff will always have a couple of reccomendations.)
Ah, it’s great to hear about your favourites, Maria Christina—lots of love there! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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I love Boffins as it has specialist books on editing and film making to further my career and that of my movie-obsessed son.
Having said that, I am glad Dymocks reopened in our local shopping centre. They have a monthly bookclub.
Boffins is brilliant for those kinds of books—but also for fiction. Bonus! 🙂 Thanks, Belinda