Perth’s best book shops: the list for literature lovers

Perth’s best book shops: the list for literature lovers

Gee, the internet’s got a lot to answer for doesn’t it?

It’s killed off our video shops, decimated our music stores and our newspapers aren’t half feeling the pinch as well.

So it’s with great pleasure that we see book shops not only alive and well but, if possible, better than ever.

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Recently thought to be headed the way of the dodo, the print book is perhaps thriving not just in spite of the web – but because of it.

The printed page is seen by many as an antedote to the inordinate amount of ‘screen time’ we log up each month.

And while sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble or, more recently, Booktopia and the Book Depository, offer an incredible range and excellent prices, there’s still nothing quite like the wonderful energy, ambience and smell of a real, live book store.

11. Kaleido Books, upstairs at Wellington Train Station, Perth 

Kaleido is a cosy shop that punches well above its weight. With each section wittily introduced on chalkboards (non-fiction: “we think this is true”), the shop is perfect for picking up something for the train, and is especially handy when you finish your read on the commute to work. They also embrace the ‘Blind Date With a Book’ phenomenon. No matter what you fancy, it’s a safe bet Kaleido will have you covered.

10. By the Book, Shop 3 7145 Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring 

With more than 10,000 second-hand titles to choose from, By the Book is the pick of the Hills literary scene. You could get lost for hours browsing it’s extensive pick of crime, horror and comedic titles, but the biography section was jammed as well.


9. Ocean Keys Book Exchange, Ocean Keys Shopping Centre, 48/36 Ocean Keys Boulevard

This is our pick for the top dog of second-hand outlets, with more than 16,000 books in stock. From the highest brow of literary fiction, Lee Child pot boilers or Mills and Boon – Ocean Keys Book Exchange has it.


8. Boffins Books, 88 William Street, Perth 

Boffins is a specialist non-fiction book seller, but you can also find the latest in fiction as well. It’s a Perth institution, operating since 1989, and it’s well worth dropping in next time you’re in the city – especially if you’re a fan of cookbooks.


7. The Subiaco Bookshop,113 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

From it’s grand wooden entrance and floors, the Subiaco Bookshop is like stepping back in time. With a fabulous range of fiction (Text Publishing’s Australian classics are very well represented), and an extensive selection of art and design books, The Subiaco Bookshop is a great way to spend time on Rokeby Road.


6. Oxford Street Books, 119 Oxford Street, Leederville

A Leederville staple for as long as I can remember, Oxford Street Books is open until 10.30pm on weeknights, making it perfect for browsing after a meal or a beer. The fiction section is plentiful, and there are some great selections in the photography and art sections too.

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5. New Edition, 41 High Street, Fremantle

Beginning life on South Terrace in 1985, New Edition has shrunk from its halcyon days in the old bank building on High Street, and it now sits on the corner of High and Henry Streets. Nevertheless, it’s still the premier literary experience in the old Port, and you can spend hours browsing the extensive array of literary fiction and non-fiction.


4. Northside Books, 192 William Street, Perth

Tucked down on William Street near the Horseshoe Bridge, Northside books is in our opinion the best book store in the city. Boasting a wonderful fiction section, the store’s art, design and photography corner is the perfect place to choose a gift for any arty loved ones.

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3. Planet Books, 638 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley

Planet’s evolution over the past 10 years has been remarkable. From video shop, pop-culture mart, clothing store to the present Planet Books we see today. Fair to say, it’s a marvellous shopping experience. With range galore, plush seats to take a load off on a hot day, it’s an easy way to spend an hour.

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2. Crow Books, 900 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park 

Crow’s range is massive. Their shop borrows from Planet (leather couches? Pine shelving? Check) but it’s earned a loyal following. It’s easy to see why when you step inside – Crow is a book lover’s bookshop.


1. Diabolik Books and Records, 149 Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn

Really, there’s not much to choose from at the top four or five entries on this list, but Diabolik gets our nod. The staff are all book lovers, and are great for a chat and some recommendations. And, let’s face it – the only thing that could make a book shop better is to be a music shop as well. Diabolik’s vinyl stocks are brilliantly eclectic. Get along and check it out.