It’s Love Your Bookshop Day, so here’s a list of my top five indie bookstores (in alphabetical order, because I love them all equally).
Avid Reader & Where the Wild Things Are
191 & 193 Boundary Street, West End
One of the first Brisbane businesses I fell in love with, Avid Reader is a Brisbane institution and still a firm personal favourite. A great range, good prices and super lovely staff. They’ve always got a great selection of literary, lifestyle, and other magazines as well, plus stationery of all kinds and lots of other gifts (mugs, shirts, bags) for the literature lover. Since the pandemic began their book clubs and author events have shifted online but are still going strong.
The children’s section of Avid Reader splintered off in early 2015 and has become a beloved bookstore in its own right. They host frequent events including book signings and launches, and also run several different book clubs for all ages and interests. The staff are amazing, and their books range from gorgeous picture books to YA novels.
Archives Fine Books
40 Charlotte St, Brisbane City
Specialising in rare and unusual books, Archives’ claim to fame is that they have over 1 million books in their store. It’s a lovely place to be–creaky floors and the smell of musty pages–and you’re likely to find a truly unique gift. Prices for most of the books are $5-$20. Rare and unusual books are priced accordingly.
205 Boundary St, West End
A brightly-coloured gem in the heart of West End, piled high with tomes of all kind. It looks a little disorganised at first glance but everything is incredibly easy to find. Pricing is very reasonable and staff are super helpful.
133 Mary Street, Brisbane City
Folio is your one-stop shop for gorgeous coffee table books on every subject (as well as a wide selection of travel guides, and novelty/humour books that would make great gifts). Folio has been in Brisbane for over three decades and I’ve always found their service to be friendly and their recommendations informed and interesting.
Pulp Fiction Booksellers
Shop 4, Level 1, Blocksidge & Ferguson Arcade, Brisbane City
Purveyors of all things sci-fi, fantasy, crime, and mystery, Pulp Fiction is a genre fiction dream, upstairs in an arcade on Adelaide Street. Open since 1995, they also stock a selection of horror, true crime, popular science and media (film/TV/gaming) books, graphic novels, and art books. The staff are great – they really know their stuff, and will be honest with you about whether they liked a certain book (although they only stock what they know and love, and I’ve never had a bad recommendations. I’ve always found them to be great at stocking the whole series (no more hunting for the third book after a cliff-hanger ending to book 2…), but if it isn’t already there they are happy to order it in for you.