Bookstores Guide

In 2006 UNESCO internationally recognised Melbourne as a City of Literature. Home to many of Australia’s most acclaimed writers and poets, it is no surprise that the city has almost as many unique places to purchase books as places to sit and enjoy them.



These are all larger, commercial chain book retailers. All have an enormous range of English, foreign language, travel, non-fiction, fiction, music, paper goods, cafés, on-site.

211 La Trobe St, CBD
03 9663 8909
additional locations in suburban shopping centres
By far the largest bookstore in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Often hosts book signings and readings by authors.

Basement, 234 Collins Street, CBD
03 9663 0900
additional locations in suburban shopping centres
Well-known and trusted book retailer Dymocks has everything Borders has, but with a slightly cheaper price tag. This downstairs flagship store has a very relaxing atmosphere, and friendly, helpful staff.

Angus & Robertson
379 Collins St, CBD
03 9620 0378‎
Another well-known Australian chain. They have an extensive travel section, and an excellent range of children’s books by Australian authors, and staff are happy to order anything they don’t regularly stock.


Independent Sellers

These stores cater to more eclectic tastes. Loved by traditional book-browsers who enjoy the smell of dusty pages and spending hours chatting with bibliophile owners and staff.

Metropolis Bookshop
Level 3, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, CBD
03 9663 2015
Lots of kooky art, design, architecture, and photography books. Hidden away on the third level, accessible by a thrilling ride in a hundred year old brass elevator.

The Haunted Bookshop
15 McKillop St, CBD
03 9670 2585
Whatever the time, it’s always the witching hour inside The Haunted Bookshop. Not a sliver of daylight penetrates the thick velvet drapes illuminated by lanterns. Drew Sinton, the owner of Haunted Books is proud that “ours is the only bookshop in Australia entirely devoted to the paranormal.” You’ll find over 2000 titles on ghosts, poltergeists, vampires, astrology, Druids and demonology. Drew also runs regular Melbourne Ghost Tours. Enquire within, if you dare.

Polyester Books
330 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
03 9419 5223
Polyester Books specialised in hip, cyberpunk-like books. It has books on everything from Tank Girl to Kurt Cobain to drugs to suicide to grunge music. The shop is tiny, and the atmosphere suits the subject matter. There is a record store attached, that sells real vinyl, just like Mum used to mix.

Hill of Content
86 Bourke St, CBD
03 9662 9472
Great seller of out of print and collectible books. Well known throughout Melbourne’s writer and avid-reader community. Also sells newly published work, but only from authors the management deems worthy.

309 Lygon St, Carlton
03 9347 6633
This shop is cluttered and lively. It sells most of the same fare as the chain stores, but staff are friendlier and open to discussion (if it is not too busy). Regularly hosts readings (get it?) by local poets and writers, as well as signings and book launches by international authors who shun the chain-retail scene.


Foreign Languages

Foreign Language Bookstore
Lower Ground Floor, Centreway, 259 Collins Street, CBD
03 9654 2883
As the name implies, this downtown, downstairs establishment specialises in Foreign Language Books, as well as music, movies, and language learning resources in over 125 Languages. Brilliant to browse, even if you’re only a beginner. The staff are approachable and enthusiastic.

Continental Bookshop
439 Burke Rd, Glen Iris
03 9824 7711
Over a hundred languages are represented in products sold here. However, this shop caters more for those who want to learn a language than read in it. Like most foreign language bookstores, the Continental does not carry Serbian (or Serbo-Croatian in the old language).