A vibrant and exciting city, Melbourne is the epicenter of all things cultural in Australia. From hosting the very best in international cricket at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground to its annual Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival, something memorable is always happening in the city. For book lovers, the city offers plenty of exciting places to read and the yearly, event-filled Melbourne Writers Festival.
Adding to Melbourne's literary charm are its bookstores that are a haven for bibliophiles in search of a second-hand book or the latest bestseller. No wonder then, that Melbourne was awarded Australia's first and only City of Literature by UNESCO in 2008.
Fifty-five years old, Robinsons is the "oldest general independent bookshop in Victoria." A family-owned establishment, over the last two decades Robinsons has expanded its operations, opening a total of 12 outlets across Australia. As one of the most-loved bookstores in Melbourne, Robinsons in Frankston attracts readers of all ages.
Their book collection has a hearty mix of both international and Australian titles, as well as a notable comic book and pop culture section. Moreover, Literary Delights, a café at the bookshop, makes for an ideal spot to sit down with your recent purchases and flip through them while sipping coffee and munching on delicious bites.
Although The Little Library is unlike conventional bookstores in Melbourne, you can still find some amazingly diverse reads here. This hidden gem works on the concept of reader honesty, encouraging bibliophiles to pick up a free book from its shelves and leaving one behind in exchange. There is always the possibility to take a book and return it later. An inspirational way to get people reading, The Little Library is packed continuously with an ever-changing collection of interesting titles.
Photo: Melbourne Central Website
A quick 20-minute drive from Melbourne CBD leads you straight to The Sun Bookshop, a charming little store that has been quenching the thirst of Yarraville book lovers for twenty years now. The assortment of books you will likely find inside does include bestsellers, but also several novels by Australian authors.
The staff at the store is friendly and ever-ready to help with book suggestions. Moreover, the best part about visiting The Sun Bookshop is that it's a bargain deal where you can explore two bookshops simultaneously. The Younger Sun, across the street, is an extension of the bookshop, specializing in children's books. A must-visit when in Melbourne, they have storytime sessions and book club events regularly.
Entering The Grumpy Swimmer is like opening the doors to a magical kingdom. A space brimming with books, it also sells a variety of beautiful homewares that make it rather easy to spend money at this quirky and cute shop. The eccentrically named bookstore in Melbourne is a 30-minute drive from the center, but well worth the effort for their curated book selection. There exists a bookish coziness to the shop that, despite its small size, manages to host events like poetry reading, bookclub meets, and children's activities.
Bookstores in Melbourne come in all shapes and sizes, but it is the city's specialty bookshops, a pleasure for bookworms to discover, that give it an edge. Metropolis impresses at first glance with its spaced-out setup, with bookshelves pushed against the walls, making it easy to browse around without interference. Moreover, this legendary bookstore in Melbourne is primarily home to books covering genres like photography, film, art, design, architecture, and fashion. Although, in an attempt to attract a diverse set of readers, they sell fiction and non-fiction titles, Metropolis demands a visit irrespective of your genre preferences.