As something of a seasoned bookworm, it has been with much delight that I have found myself living in a new city with an abundance of independent bookshops. While much of the little free time I’ve had since arriving in Sydney has been spent either in the yoga studio or on the beach, browsing the shelves of a bookstore still remains one of my favourite past-times. And though I’m yet to see all of the bookshops Sydney has to offer, I’ve managed to visit a fair few; so for any fellow lovers of literature residing in Sydney, here are some of my favourites:
Gertrude & Alice, Bondi:
Biased I might be, living a stone’s throw from this bookstore, but a gem of a place it certainly is. On Bondi’s bustling Hall Street, Gertrude & Alice has a food menu as impressive as its collection of books and is the perfect place to while away an afternoon, sampling their culinary delights, head buried in a book.
I first fell in love with the Rose Bay branch of Berkelouw Books when I was visiting Sydney in February and staying in a friend’s beautiful beach front apartment, just a short stroll away. Despite a previous promise to myself that I wouldn’t add to the collection of books I had packed, the temptation was too strong and I returned to London further weighed down by a beautiful collection of F Scott Fitzgerald’s books. Their Paddington store is just as beautiful, and a haven of both books and literary-inspired knick-knacks perfect for book-lovers all over the city.
Prior to visiting Sydney in February, I had read about Elizabeth’s Bookstore and their famous ‘Blind Date with a Book’ – where books were sold wrapped in brown paper, with key themes scrawled across the front. Enticed by their unique way of selling books, I made a cross-city trip to the Newtown store. A brilliant second-hand Aladdin’s cave of books, it’s a shop with real character – and an eclectic mixture of both popular, and second-hand books, offering something for everybody; whatever your taste.
For me, the best thing about Gleebooks is the homely ambience it offers; unlike other bookstores who are pristine inter presentation, there is an intimate and informal atmosphere that truly allows its customers to get lost among the shelves on unread tales. As well as offering books in abundance covering every topic imaginable, Gleebooks also has a stellar calendar of events from literary launches to book readings, that run throughout the year. Thus, whether Glebe is on your doorstep or a cross-city trip away, this haven of the unread is absolutely worth a visit
With a store in both Double Bay and Surry Hills, I visited the Surry Hills branch when en route into the city one very dismal Friday morning. Nestled amongst the hustle and bustle of vintage shops and pubs that line Crown Street, Oscar and Friends is a peaceful haven perfect for bookworms all over Sydney. From the decorated book bike at its entrance to the wide selection of books on offer and the booksellers’ clearly excellent taste in literature (I spotted the 2015 Baileys Prize shortlist in its entirety) this small but perfectly formed bookshop is the perfect place to find your next best book buy.