Whether it’s helping us find our next favourite story or delivering our books right at our doorstep – our brilliant community of local bookshops have gone above and beyond during these uncertain times, simply by being there when we needed them. Here’s a peek at how we are celebrating our love for our local bookshops on this special day:
Hill of Content have been keeping me well-read throughout the pandemic. My last order comprised two novels recommended by their inimitable bookseller (and AP author) Jaclyn Crupi – Love, in Theory by Elodie Cheesman and The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock. In fact, my entire book club ordered Love, in Theory from HOC on Jaclyn’s recommendation!
My last order was from Amplify Bookstore, a BIPOC online bookstore who are on a mission to diversify your bookshelf. Marina and Xuan always pack my orders beautifully and sustainably with free stickers, bookmarks and cards. Plus, they give amazing recommendations based off your previous order if you ask!
My latest haul from local Neighbourhood Books in preparation for Christmas gifts for my nearest and dearest landed on my doorstep while I was walking the dog today. I’m sorry I missed saying g’day to Ian when he dropped it off – Ian’s been delivering books from Neighbourhood Books and The Little Bookroom all lockdown and spreading joy to the northern suburbs of Melbourne. The books I ordered as gifts are ones I have loved and others that I know will make the recipients happy. And how lucky am I? As you’ll see with the little message on the brown paper packaging, Neighbourhood Books included a free book with my order! A gift for me makes it much easier to actually give the rest of these books as gifts rather than hoard them for myself!
Here’s Darcy picking up yet another copy of Still Life by Sarah Winman, (which I’m buying for all my friends). I love all the Avenue Bookstores, but Elsternwick is my local and their click and collect has been a lifesaver with all our lockdowns. Their staff are friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly patient and I can’t wait until we are all allowed back into bookshops to admire all the brilliant new releases and to thank the staff for keeping us emotionally and mentally nourished with the joy of fresh books.
Darcy loves it too, and in ‘normal’ times goes into the shop for pats (if it’s not too crowded).
Outside my local – Gertrude & Alice Bookstore, Bondi Beach – with Brendan Cowell’s Plum, which I’ve been looking forward to reading. Best little bookstore supporting local writers, with a great café and friendly, helpful staff who know their books.
I’ve just bought Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Crossroads, not only because of its great reviews but also because it gives me another chance to visit West Footscray’s brand-new local bookshop, The Chestnut Tree. This gem has appeared on our high street during lockdown and has become a source of wonder and excitement for the community, who’ve been staring into its massive, enticing windows ever since the wrapping was taken off them. This shop also sells vinyl and coffee, and for every book you buy, they’ll plant a tree!
I add something new to my wishlist every time I stroll past the Avenue Bookstore in Richmond, but I really should get stuck into what I last bought from them before I purchase any more! Next up is The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He (such a gorgeous cover!) and re-reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
I tried to hold out until Christmas for the latest from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, Shelf Love, but Love Your Bookshop Day is pretty much Christmas for books anyway so I thought, ‘Why not?’, right??? I got it from my local bookshop The Grumpy Swimmer, and they are doing free home deliveries over $50 in the area at the moment. It’s a beautiful little store with the most ambient lighting and music, and since it’s a bit on the smaller side, all of the books are so well curated. I especially love their picture book section! They’ve also got a whole load of other beautiful things besides books too. I have my eye on a Miffy lamp. Maybe I’ll throw that on my list for Christmas instead. If you’re ever out Elwood way when we’re out in the world again, it’s so worth a visit.
I recently bought some books for my daughter, Zadie, from the Avenue Bookstore in Albert Park. But, I ordered one of them as a paperback instead of the board book – a real rookie error with a toddler who likes to test the structural integrity of all books! They were so lovely and helpful fixing the order over the phone. Hairy Maclary will survive another day in our house.
I’ve just moved to Brunswick and I’m so glad that I have Brunswick Bound within walking distance of my house, which seems like a little gem of a bookshop! I can’t wait until I can go in and browse properly, but for now I’ve picked up a couple of new-release novels to inhale while I ignore the piles of boxes in my house: Love and Virtue by Diana Reid and Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down.