For me, Abbeys vies with Gleebooks for the title of Sydney's best retailer of new books. The shop is large and well laid out, the stock is extensive, and they offer a "happy hour" every Thursday night 7.00 PM to 8.00 PM when there is 5% off all stock. Best of all their services is that they will order any book from anywhere for you, and are prompt in informing you when it arrives. Gift vouchers may also be purchased, and are a wonderful present. [CC]
Definitely worth a visit after Galaxy, just to get grounded again. Abbey's is a well-organised and large bookshop, extensively stocked with all subject matter and not part of a huge chain. Excellent worldwide ordering service, plus gift vouchers. Also publishers of free monthly 'Crime Chronicle' and 'Abbey's Advocate' newsletters. [PY, 08/2001]
Attached to Abbeys is the Language Book Centre, which offers an impressive range of material in a wide range of languages. They also have a science fiction bookshop Galaxy, which is right nearby [DY, 2003]
This has to be one of the most pleasant and spacious bookshops to be found in Sydney and considering the wide range of esoterica on offer, very well laid out. A lot of thought (and money) has gone into this place. The main focus of activities centred on the shop itself are the teachings of Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society, but info on all activities, talks and other events with a New Age slant can also be found here. The shop also publishes an excellent quality newsletter, Adyar Booknews, offering book & CD reviews and a regular competition, and has a decent second-hand section plus a range of greatly discounted remainder books near the entrance. [PY, 10/2001]
The shop is staffed by friendly, informed people, who have interests in the the type of books and material stocked. Those subjects are many and varied but fit broadly under the "alternative/metaphysical" banner. i.e. psychology, mythology, world religions, mysticism, tarot, numerology, psychic teachings, health, oriental medicine, body/mind techniques etc. etc. The range is outstanding by world standards. The atmosphere is pleasant with comfortable reading areas. Good stocks of C.D's (ambient, baroque, meditative...) and videos as well. [employee]
The bookshop of the Australian Institute of Architects.
Shops in Paddington and the Rocks. Open till midnight, this is a great place to hang out after a concert or film.
A comprehensive range of art books from prehistoric to postmodernism, artists biographies and monographs from Michelangelo to Bacon.
Also provides school and library supplies and a selected range of our most popular prints, posters and other merchandise.
Basement shop, mostly remaindered stock, all good condition; but if you are looking for SF you may as well be at the Galaxy Bookshop, around the corner.
Just off the Devonshire St tunnel, near Central
It really is basement books now, as it is located below the street line. A far greater range than the new remainder store further up George St. [Stuart, 06/2003]
From shops in Paddington and Berrima, Berkelouw has been rapidly expanding.
A nice little shop, crowded with goodies.
Books, charts, navigation instruments and software, etc.
Shops in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Shops in Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Hornsby, Campbelltown, Macquarie Centre, Paramatta, and Rouse Hill.
The Cornstalk is a well-stocked secondhand bookshop with reasonable prices (for example, they know that hardcover blockbusters aren't worth anything, so they are all priced at $5). The shop is also highly organised and the staff are generally friendly. If you are searching for anything special they will take details and hunt for you. Two other features are an attractive and ever-changing window display and a wonderful glass cabinet filled with antiquarian and special interest books. These are mostly wildly expensive, but looking at them is pleasure enough. [CC]
Upstairs from Sappho and next to Gleebooks. Secondhand & antiquarian: printed music; scores; books about music. The stock is listed online.
6 rooms of second hand music - books, sheets, scores, programs, crammed into an atmospheric old 2 storey shop in Glebe. A music-lover's heaven. Friendly and knowledgeable staff (well we like to think so). Occasional catalogues. [owner]
Doesn't appear to have a Dee Why shop any more, predominantly mail order.
We buy and sell secondhand books, with a range of over 50 000 titles. Our main topics include Australiana, Art, Military, Boating and Literature. [owner, 03/2007]
A nice mix of new and secondhand books. Shops in the CBD (Pitt St) and Newtown (King St).
The catalogue is searchable online. Some specialisation in sport, labour history, etc.
This is a small, selective and well-maintained bookshop with very reasonable prices and an 'academic' feel to it. The opening hours are a pain - I have often stumbled off the train at Newtown and hared down King Street at 9 AM only to be disappointed! Cash only. [CC]
Specialises in gardening and botany, with hugely broad coverage – if you want a book on Peruvian cactuses, this is where to go.
Mostly Japanese books, with a few shelves of English books. Very friendly staff, has an interesting manga collection. [LW, 11/2006]
SF/F. Also specialises in Star Trek and role playing games. Books on history and mythology for those who want to do a little world exploring, distributor of local (and national?) SF magazines, some overseas ones as well (e.g. Twin Peaks). Lots of the latest releases and a wide range which amazingly doesn't mesh with Minotaur Books in Melbourne (I visited one after the other). A block down from the Queen Vic Building towards Darling Harbour. [LR]
Now rehomed alongside their sister store Abbeys in slightly larger premises, Galaxy is Australia's oldest and largest specialist for SF/F/Horror. The Sydney equivalent of London's Forbidden Planet, this comprehensive store stocks an even spread of US & UK titles currently in print (there are plenty of gems to be found here), plus a disappointingly small 2nd-hand section (connected to their book-credit rewards scheme) and a useful SF reference section which contains some rare bibliographies, chapbooks and critiques, many vastly overpriced (the poorly-stapled 20-page A5 ones, anyway) as a result of their rarity. Large sections are devoted to Dr. Who, Star Trek and Star Wars (all books and videos) and SF-related subjects (SF art, popular science, a comprehensive horror section, ufology, folklore, etc.).
Galaxy also has a good selection of DVDs, videos and film-related merchandise and recent SF magazines published worldwide, plus frequent signings from famous SF/Fantasy authors and stars (check out the Rogues Gallery in the entrance). Customers are requested to consider the shop a 'spoiler-free zone', forbidding discussion of the latest episodes of Farscape, Buffy, Trek etc., probably with a sordid variety of terrible punishments reserved for transgressors. They also publish Nexus, a free monthly newsletter of brief SF reviews written by its staff, making the entire operation the central focus for Sydney's SF community. [PY, 08/2001 updated 03/2003]
This shop has a large and well-priced range of secondhand CDs with new stock coming in constantly. The books are also wide-ranging and cheap (though because they're new they're not so cheap as secondhand shops). I buy a lot of new paperback novels here as they have 30% to 50% off. The staff are not particularly helpful, and the name needs updating as there's nary a record in sight. Takes credit cards. [CC]
Similar and close to T. Kelly's, with a good mixture of subject matter, a fairly even spread between hardback and paperback and a limited supply of CDs. The SF/F section is well stocked with UK & US paperbacks from the past 30 years, mostly cheap, with some recent publications in excellent condition, a few rarities. [PY, 08/2001]
Shelves and shelves of books from all genres. Has a non-fiction room called the Hemingway room, which boasts an amazing chess table for patrons to sit and play; lots of other games are also available. The café is run by the same owner and is successful its own right. [employee, 05/2004]
Right across from the school where they hold markets on the weekends. Lots of new releases, academic books, good section on drama, a huge amount of stuff on lifestyle, classic literature and "modern" novels. Some SF/F. (LR)
Vies with Abbeys for the status of Sydney's best bookshop. Exceptional philosophy and cultural studies stock, but also solid holdings in other academic areas. Has a broad range of literature and a decent selection of DVDs. Holds regular book launches and other events. [DY]
An excellent secondhand shop and a children's bookshop joined together.
A Sydney institution, Goulds stocks mostly secondhand books - piles and piles of them, in dusty disorganised piles spread over two stories. It also has videos, vinyl records, and magazines. There are a pair of friendly twin cats which frequent the place. [Inggrid Ajani, 02/2002]
Dealers in Fine, Old & Rare books. Catalogues for Bushranging & Colonial Crime and Travel & Exploration are online.
Infinitas is an independant, small but busy bookshop in Parramatta (Sydney, Australia) selling science fiction, fantasy, horror, speculative fiction, roleplaying gaming, popular science and other books, artwork, games and figurines. Infinitas supports the community interested in this genre by hosting events and groups, as well as dispatching books daily to readers around Australia and the world. [site]
They will do mail order. The store is only small, but has a very good range. It also has the Discworld figurines on sale (the first to have them in Australia). Friendly staff of two, who both will make an effort to help you find your book. Meetings to discuss issues in SF/F.
My preferred specialty store, as I find the staff much friendler than Galaxy and Phantasia is too far away for me. I do travel to Parra instead of the city even tho I live on the North Shore and work in the city (proof of my bias). [anonymous]
John sells second-hand books as a front for his real business of being a bum. As a bum he has attempted and has failed to write the great novel and has lain about reading this and that and has talked and talked and talked about what he might do someday. The second-hand bookshop was established a couple of years ago and against all expectation it has been success. John does not wear success well so don't let on that you know that John's Bookshop is worthy of praise.
On any given day you'll find him loitering about his shop in Mosman Cache spouting some dusty opinion to a bored and frightened pensioner or you might see him typing up the latest edition of his infamous newsletter. Either way the best advice I can give you is this - just visit the store for the best selection of books at the lowest prices and try not to upset the natives. [owner]
These shops (like the George Street Book and Record Exchange) stock new books and secondhand CDs. The range is inferior, however. There are also porn magazines. Takes credit cards. [CC]
Always an excellent selection of recent SF/F/Horror remainders and a good range of decent secondhand SF plus plenty of mainstream and classic fiction. Good selection of CDs. This place really is worth a visit. [PY, 08/2001]
A specialist religious and educational bookshop.
A Japanese based chain. A large store which seems to have different suppliers to other chains, so they get some unique new books. Very strong on art, design, manga and Japanese books. [LW, 11/2006]
We are a general secondhand & antiquarian bookshop. Open only by appointment. [owner]
Modern Times is actually two shops - a stationery shop on the right and a bookshop on the left. The bookshop doesn't have a large stock (and it's mostly popular titles), but it does offer a 15% discount on new releases. Not a patch on the famous Modern Times bookshop in San Francisco, but a good place to browse while waiting for the bus. [DY, 08/1996]
Covering all things military in recent and ancient history, Napoleons also has a gaming section with a large range of fantasy war-gaming handbooks available going back almost to the dawn of the Dungeons & Dragons era! The shop also does special orders, catalogues and mail orders. [PY, updated 11/2006]
We are a general bookshop with a specialised Children's Department. We opened in July 1995 and steadily built a reputation for having an excellent range and providing exceptional service. We conduct a regular programme of author visits for both adult & children's authors. This information can be found in our regular newsletter which we send out to our recorded mailing list. Orders are accepted via email. [owner]
Phoenix Rising is a small shop, but it is well lit and has a pleasant, open layout. The stock is a broad range of "alternative" and "esoteric" works - transpersonal psychology, deep ecology, self transformation, Eastern religions, natural therapies, etc. This is not my personal cup of tea (though I found a few scattered gems), but if it's what you are after then this would be a good place to look; it's conveniently close to Gleebooks, too. Their web page has a collection of short reviews. [DY]
A specialised bookshop servicing the art, architecture and design communities. Only the latest titles are kept in stock.
Originally a Queensland chain, but now has shops in NSW, Victoria, Canberra and Darwin as well.
We stock contemporary and classic fiction plus biographies, history, travel and exploration, sport, and many other subject areas. [owner, April 2002]
'Sappho Books' looks as though it was organised by a group of obsessive-compulsives... which in fact it was. For example, the Drama section is divided into five clearly labelled and alphabetically arranged sub-sections. While we have excellent Humanities areas, the strength of 'Sappho Books' lies in its extensive Fiction sections, contemporary, classic, crime and popular titles, plus a large selection of science fiction and fantasy. Contrary to the expectations of many, 'Sappho' is not a lesbian bookshop, although Women's Studies and Gay/Lesbian literature are well represented. [owner]
Located next to the Palace Cinema. Open till 9pm (10pm on Saturdays).
A secondhand bookshop run by the student council at Sydney University.
Buys and sells current textbooks, but has some broader stock and will also sell other titles on commission.
Populated by uni students, this second-hand shop has a great selection. Lots of books and very little room to move in. The owner is a frightenly organised woman who has owned the place for years. [Rae, March 2004]
In the Tyrell's Building, Crows Nest.
A gay and lesbian book store. Sells DVDs, magazines, and erotica as well as books.
Any children's bookshop where your children feel welcome and comfortable - and therefore started on a lifetime book buying habit! - is a good thing. My children and I are always welcomed at this store (some bookshops treat kids like they have the plague), and have been since my kids were babies. It has a very wide range of both fiction and non-fiction books for children from birth through to teens, going well beyond the usual "chain" books. What really sets this bookshop apart is that the team know and love their stock, and the advice and support for children's literacy, and the time they are willing and able to give customers is outstanding - their genuine enthusiasm and interest is infectious. Owner Paul Macdonald is a former English teacher with an interest in boys' literacy, and it shows in his passion for what they sell. They not only know what they have, they know what they don't have, and are great about ordering books in. I've shopped regularly here for the last ten years (since before Paul bought it) and this shop just goes from strength to strength.
They also have a small (but perfectly formed) adult book section, which is great because it means I can sneak up the back and choose something for myself while the kids are distracted! [July 2008]
A more interesting selection than most general suburban bookshops: an impressive history section, especially for military and medieval books. [DY, updated 2010]
Lots of stock, with all the cooking books you could want, plus lots on food and the hospitality industry more generally. Quick off the mark looking up an obscure request in their database. [DY, 2007]
Has cute gifts for food lovers, as well as over 9,000 books in stock, separated into categories such as different countries, meats, desserts, baking, vegetarian, new titles, educational and professional, and access for thousands more online. Has a monthly newsletter with the latest cookery books arriving in the store. [owner, 2012]
Attached to the State Library of New South Wales, the Library Shop specialises in Australian books and prints. Using the latest digital technology it also offers archival quality reproductions of photographs, maps, oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and panoramas from the collections of the Library.
Excellent selection, the owners are knowledgeable and friendly, excellent prices. The hours and days are limited, but if needed you can probably make an appointment. Sorry I don't have the phone number, but this shop is definitely worth looking into for History and Literature, including a good selection of Australian literature. Mostly old books, probably ~50,000 titles (estimate) or more. As the name indicates, the bookshop is in an old church. [AL]
As well as servicing student textbook needs, offers an excellent range of general/trade books, specialising in several areas, such as architecture/urban planning; business/management; literature; etc. Fast special & mail orders are an important part of the business. There is a 10% discount on most books. [employee]