Our favourite cosy bookstores in Melbourne for great reads

bookstores in melbourne

Melbourne is a city packed full of art and culture, including an extensive range of amazing bookstores.


Whether you’re after fact or fiction, these bookstores in Melbourne are guaranteed to help you find what you’re looking for, and lead to an exciting afternoon of shopping.



Bookstores in Melbourne: Readings in Carlton. Image: Josie Withers.



First opened in 1969, Readings bookstores are a staple in Melbourne, and can be found from St Kilda to the CBD. Each shop is unique, with its own style and appeal. They even have a whole store dedicated to kids and teens, with an extensive collection of titles, a mural from a local illustrator, and great music to help set the tone. Plus, Readings hosts a range of panels, author signings, and book launches across the year, so there’s always something to look forward to.


Bookstores in Melbourne: Hill of Content © Jake Roden Photography


Hill of Content 

As Melbourne’s oldest bookstore, first opened in 1922, there’s so much to love about Hill of Content. This two-story wonder is cosy and intimate, with the first floor dedicated to new releases and fiction, while upstairs you’ll find classic literature and non-fiction. Hill of Content is bursting with charm, from quaint decorations to wonderful book accessories. Their friendly staff is happy to help with anything, and eager to make sure you find the perfect purchase.



Kay Craddock Antiquarian Booksellers 

For all major literary fans, Kay Craddock is the place for you. As suppliers of rare and antique books, you can expect to find texts dating all the way back to the 15th century when searching their shelves. Found inside the neo-gothic Assembly Hall, not only is this bookstore packed full of antique wonders, but it’s also beautiful. They believe there’s nothing better than holding a leather bound book, and after spending an afternoon here, you’re bound to agree.


The Paperback Bookshop

One of Melbourne’s most popular bookstores, The Paperback Bookshop originally aimed to supply books not found anywhere else in Australia. Today, visitors can still expect to find many uncommon titles, as well as an extensive collection of good writing, especially from Australian authors. With shelves and floors covered in wonderful texts, and a late closing time for night time shoppers, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in this Melbourne institution. The Paperback Bookshop is a must for all booklovers.



Perimeter Books 

As a specialist bookstore, award-winning publisher, and distribution house, Perimeter books really does it all. Their extensive collection of art and photography books is guaranteed to satisfy any artist at heart, with a focus on independant titles, zines, and design books. The store also provides an exciting mix of talks, workshops, and launches throughout the year, as well as being responsible for publishing over seventy titles, all focused on the world of art and design.


Bookstores in Melbourne:  Books for Cooks © Robert Seba


Books for Cooks

Books for Cooks is the only bookstore in Melbourne dedicated to the culinary arts. With over 40,000 books to choose from, aspiring amateurs and professionals alike will be delighted by new and old titles. The store is located right next to the Queen Victoria market, the perfect location for food and wine lovers to enjoy a delicious meal before purchasing everything they need to start preparing one of their own. Owned by cooks and lovers of all things food, visitors will feel at home amongst the shelves.


Alice’s Bookshop

For 30 years, Alice’s Bookshop has been dedicated to selling amazing second-hand titles.  With over 17,000 books displayed across four rooms, you’ll be immersed in a world of literature around every corner. Their collection has a strong emphasis on arts, history, philosophy, and psychology, but lucky visitors can hope to find first edition copies scattered throughout. Their second-hand titles are reasonably priced, so it will be hard to leave without taking armfulls of books with you.

Can’t get enough of these bookstores in Melbourne? Why not check out the top theatres in Melbourne to catch a live show?

For more bookstores, theatres and galleries, check out our complete guide to cultural experiences in Australia.


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