Even in the digital age, there’s nothing quite like reading a physical book. The weight, the cover, even the smell of the pages inspires us to read more.
To purchase a book, you’ll need to visit a bookshop. While there are less and less book stores than ever before, Canberra is home to a handful of real gems. These shops are worth a visit, even if you don’t plan on buying anything.
In this article, we’ll share our picks for the top bookshops in the Canberra region. If you don’t agree with our list, add your thoughts to the comments section below.
What Makes a Great Bookshop?
Bookshops should be an absolute pleasure to visit, and the best bookshops have us coming back again and again.
So, what separates the average bookshops from the very best? Here are the traits we believe are key:
- An excellent range of books: Most people visit a bookshop for one thing, and one thing only – books. The best bookshops in Canberra have a fantastic range of bestsellers, independent publishers, children’s’ books, cookbooks, non-fiction, and more. If they don’t have the book you’re looking for, they should be willing to order it in if possible.
- Friendly staff. The best bookshops have friendly, knowledgeable staff that are able to help with all of your book enquiries.
- A great atmosphere. If you love to spend hours trawling through bookshops, flicking through anything that catches your eye, you’ll want to visit stores with a great atmosphere. Lighting, temperature, and music are all important factors.
- Well priced. There is no denying the price benefits of shopping online for books. Physical bookshops should offer competitive pricing all year round.
- Conveniently located. While the above features are all important, you’ll most likely visit the bookshop located in the most convenient spot. Whether that be near your home, or close to work in the city centre, the easier it is to access, the better.
The Top 3 Bookshops in Canberra
We’ve done our research and come up with the top 3 bookshops in the Canberra region. If you’ve visited any, be sure to share your experience in the comments below.
Let’s get right into it.
1. Paperchain Bookstore Manuka
Established in 1982, Paperchain is Canberra’s original independent bookstore. Offering an incredible range (more than 20,000 titles in-stock, and access to 2 million more), Paperchain is a one-stop-shop for novels, non-fiction, children’s books, poetry, cooking, travel, and more.
In addition to their fantastic variety, Paperchain is renowned for its superb customer services and knowledgeable staff. Open late 7 days a week, this truly is one of Canberra’s best bookshops.
2. Canty’s Bookshop
Looking for a second-hand bookshop in Canberra? Visit Canty’s Bookshop.
With 1.2km of shelves packed with tens of thousands of great-condition books, Canty’s is an incredible place to hunt for a bargain. A perfect day out for any booklover, Canty’s is open 7 days a week.
3. Dymocks Canberra
Open for business for more than 25 years, Canberra’s locally-owned Dymocks franchise is a firm favourite among residents.
Dymocks’s experienced and knowledgeable staff are always happy to provide recommendations, and can help you discover everything from an easy weekend read, to a highly-specialised non-fiction book. If they haven’t got the title you need, they are more than happy to track it down.
Conveniently located adjacent to David Jones in the city centre, this large bookshop is a great place to purchase gifts or treat yourself.
Your Favourite Canberra Bookshop
Have you got a favourite bookshop in Canberra? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to explain why your go-to is better than the rest.