Saturday, August 11, 2012

Must Love... Brisbane Book Shops

Some may say I have a slight* obsession when it comes to books. They can be chic-lit, a courtroom drama, time-travel back to the 1700s or a nice big coffee table book - I love them all! I enjoy browsing for books to buy almost as much as I love getting home and devouring them. Words cannot describe the excitement that overcomes me when surrounded by newly printed paper, interesting covers and crafty titles.

Luckily, Brisbane has a great selection of places to feed my small** fetish. Here are my Top 5.

1. Avid Reader (193 Boundary Street, West End)

 Image courtesy of Concrete Playground
Image courtesy of Hide & Seek

This amazing store is very well stocked and caters to most tastes, from an extensive array of classics to modern fiction and impressive fashion and photography offerings to stacks of biographies. You can also find cute cards, wrapping paper, laptop/iPad covers, notebooks and unique knick knacks on display around the counter. There is also a little cafe at the back of the store, conveniently next to the cooking section. I'm yet to sample their coffee or sweets, but it is definitely on my to-do list.

2. Bent Books (205 Boundary Street, West End)

Image courtesy of Concrete Playground

 This is the most immaculate second-hand store I have ever come across. The quality of the books are of a very high standard, some even looking brand new and unread. This is due to the owner's strict eye - I know this because whilst I was examining the goods I overheard a customer asking the sales assistant whether they did exchanges or bought books. He replied that they did, but the books would have to pass inspection first and no one but the owner had authority to do so. The sheer number of titles and the broad categories are very impressive, the prices reasonable and they're open seven days a week!

3. Black Cat Books (179 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington)

In the heart of Paddington and sheltered in this suburb's signature renovated Queenslander, this location has been home to a bookshop for a number of years; however, it has been proudly independent since January 2010. The owner's pride themselves on being involved in the community and having an eclectic collection. Coming from a teaching background and infusing a love for literacy has resulted in a stellar children's section set to inspire hundreds of youngsters to pick up a book and settle in for some page turning fun while Mum or Dad indulge in a coffee at the in-house cafe.

4. Atavist Books (5M Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley)

Nestled in a funky ally way in The Valley, this boutique bookshop may well be the smallest in town. But it appears they believe in the concept of quality over quantity, stocking second-hand classic, cult and underground fiction, as well as supporting local talent by selling zines and artist's publications. You may want to visit during the Winn Lane late night shopping evening's that are held on the first Thursday of every month.

5. Coaldrake's (The Barracks, Paddington & The Emporium, Fortitude Valley)

It is clear that the Coaldrake's staff are both passionate about books and bursting with recommendations to share. I have only had the pleasure of visiting the store at The Emporium, but would love to browse through The Barracks sometime in the near future. Upon walking into this store and seeing the selection they stocked, it felt like they had foreseen into my thoughts, noted everything I would want in a book, collected these and displayed them on every shelf. Note: self control will need to be strongly enforced to ensure you don't walk out with a heavy bag and a light bank account.

Until next time - happy reading and much love,
Popcorn x

*spiralling out of control
**incredibly large

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