There are a few things I look for when I visit a new bookshop.
Firstly, of course, does it have a quality book selection? A good sprinkling of Affirm Press titles doesn’t hurt either.
Floor to ceiling shelving? (I do have a soft spot for this.)
Are the staff knowledgeable and friendly?
And the lighting – can you easily browse the shelves? I never underestimate the importance of natural light too, to avoid the stuffy library feel.
Does it have tables, windows and other displays that clearly say ‘these are our favourites’? A fun and eye-catching counter selection makes all the difference too.
And let’s not forget that intangible pull, which means that even when you’re walking in as a publisher on a mission, just planning to take some pics, you still somehow walk out with a book. What creates that pull? I have no idea, but what I do know is that the new Avenue bookstore has all of these covered.
Chris Redfern and his team from Avenue Albert Park and Avenue Elsternwick should be very proud. Many, many years ago I looked at buying a house in Richmond and the absence of a bookshop in such a happening suburb was noticeable. I suspect in ten years’ time we’ll look back and just assume Avenue has always been there.
Happy bookselling, Avenue, and as always we love your support for Australian independent publishers.
– Keiran Rogers, Sales & Marketing Director