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Overview

Books & magazines

Like the best books, a city that considers itself to be even a little literary needs to have something for everyone. As a UNESCO City of Literature and a bonafide book nerd, Melbourne hits the spot with more bookshops per head than anywhere else in Australia.

Dependable independents

Browse through the stalwart independent bookstores in the heart of Melbourne, like Paperback Bookshop, Hill Of Content, and Readers Feast. Author appearances and book festivals and a commitment to local writers make them worth the ink they're written in.

Vintage finds, secondhand books or marked-down latest reads can be picked up at the weekly Federation Square Book Market or within the ordered subterranean chaos at City Basement Books. Kay Craddock sees those pre-loved books and shrugs, offering access to antiquarian titles dating as far back as the fifteenth century.

Specialist bookstores

Avid readers with particular hobbies and areas of interest are in luck in Melbourne, with a host of specialist bookstores outweighed only by iconic and memorable places in which to read them.

Keen cooks can stock up on culinary literature, imported cookbooks and out-of-print recipes in the Books For Cooks larder. The rarest reads will confer instant credibility at any of Gertrude Street's fanciest eateries.

A climb to Metropolis Books in Curtin House is rewarded with a veritable world of art, graphic design, architecture, photography, fashion and textiles, popular culture, film, music and performing arts books. Keep climbing up to Rooftop Bar for maximum reading pleasures.

Aesthetic reads

Inspired by the great libraries of the world (including, no doubt, Melbourne's own splendid State Library) Embiggen Books sells an ever-changing, curated collection of excellent new books with a nod to the page on which art meets science.

The most bookish junior readers are included in Melbourne's booming book scene, with The Little Bookroom – reputedly the world's oldest children's bookshop -  leading the way when it comes to imaginative, colourful kids' books.

Books alive

If flicking through Melbourne's bookshops still isn't literary enough for you, get along to the regular readings and discussions at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas and inhale the dusty historic pages in the imposing State Library. And if you still need to breathe and eat books, get stuck into The Moat bar and cafe, Mr Tulk cafe, or Journal cafe.

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Bookshops

Books & magazines

12 of 14 results

Books

City Basement Books

Explore the enthralling, ordered chaos of aisles pre-loved novels, journals, magazines, textbooks and reference tomes. It's a goldmine for bookworms.

Books

Coventry Bookstore

Bury your nose in tomes of all types or hang around for the regular readings for children at one of Melbourne's favourite independent bookshops.

Books

Embiggen Books

Peruse the curated collections at this little Melbourne bookshop where art meets science and absorb the traditional charms of its interiors.

Books

Hill of Content

While away a few hours in one of the Melbourne's best-loved bookstores and discover a history dating back to the gangster days of Squizzy Taylor.

Books

Kay Craddock

Step into a bookshop and back into history. Choose from a range of antiquarian and secondhand titles, dating as far back as the fifteenth century.

Books

Mag Nation City

Flick through pristine titles with great coffee, cool staff and crazy promotions at the hippest periodical dispensary in the city. Say 'Undies Monday'.

Books

Mag Nation Prahran

Help save magazines from extinction and peruse the impressive range of titles. There's everything from glossy fashion to conceptual art, plus coffee.

Books

Metropolis Bookstore

Scout the shelves of this reader's oasis to discover rare, niche and hard to find tomes. The quirky selection here offers books to suit any taste.

Books

Reader's Feast Bookstore

Head up to the sumptuous surrounds of the Georges Building on Collins to browse a diverse array of books and get tips from knowledgeable staff.

Books

Readings Carlton

Whether you're popping in at lunchtime, attending a literary event, or killing time before a movie, Readings is always a hive of bookish activity.

Books

Sticky

Get stuck into zines at Australia's undisputed headquarters for lovingly photocopied publications about everything from fashion to science fiction.

Books

The Little Bookroom

Immerse yourself in the hundreds of beautifully illustrated and imaginative children's titles and browse bookshelves bursting with colour.

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City of literature

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Eight of the best

Book breaks

Cafes

Journal

Enjoy an 'intellectual' date of highbrow chat and down-home cooking amid the bookish atmosphere at Journal, where it's ok to eat, drink, and talk.

Cafes

Mr Tulk

Devour books and fine café fare at Mr Tulk, an airy spot named for Melbourne's first state librarian and appropriately attached to the State Library.

Restaurants

The Moat

Burrow beneath the Wheeler Centre, Literary Melbourne's literary heart, to Moat, for morning coffee and post-literary event vinous ruminations.

Cafes

Feedback Cafe

Bust in for breakfast boom-time in the little Yarraville lounge that's doing big things with a mainly vegetarian menu, and be sure to leave feedback.

Bars

The Toff in Town

Take to the dimly lit train-carriage booths or Lynch-worthy bandroom. Or take Lindy Hop class. This bar pretty much knows what you need before you do.

Cafes

Brother Baba Budan

Have your caffeine and drink it too in a café named after a legendary coffee smuggler, where chairs hang high and the beans are roasted with pedigree.

Cafes

Babka Bakery Cafe

Bless bustling Babka for being a bastion of Brunswick Street and continually serving up borscht, blintzes and rustic, freshly baked bread and buns.

Bars

Sister Bella

Prolong student days at this boho townhouse facsimile, enjoying happy hour in cushy booths over philosophical chats, and mac and cheese for nostalgia.

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