Around the World in Bookshops-Bondi Beach - Australia

Gertrude and Alice - Looking over the bookshelves as I sit and enjoy my cuppa

This story begins with a little secondhand bookshop back in 2001, tempting me in with not only its books, but also wonderful food. I discovered it at that time with a friend and I haven’t stopped visiting. It moved a few doors up the road about eight years ago and was able to pack even more books onto its shelves.

There are so many books, it can take hours out of your day and it caters to all types of readers. I’ve introduced my children to this sacred place and it’s rare that they don’t leave with a little treasure for themselves.

Looking over the bookshelves as I sit and enjoy my cuppa, I often pick up books that I wouldn’t normally read. Is it this bookshop that opens my thoughts to different genres? I came in this morning to write notes about this review and once again I seem to have come away with three different types of books.

The shop has evolved and now also stocks new books. I think the balance has almost shifted to more new than old, but it’s still a great mix and I think Jane (the owner) is responsible for making sure it’s the right mix. Second hand books are always a bargain, but many of the new books are also discounted.

I don’t know if it’s the way my brain works, but I love that it’s not a perfect bookshop. It is soooo full of books, that it feels no more can be squeezed on the shelves and books are now stacked on the floor. Children’s books, crime and thrillers, biographies, philosophy, general fiction, award winners, special interest and lots of Australian authors too.

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A whole wall of cookbooks!

And so many of the classics.

The feel of this shop is just as much about the café as it is about the books. Many people are in here to meet friends, chat, enjoy coffee, work and read. Today I’m here early, people are having breakfast and coffee, but later this evening it will be soup and a glass of wine.

The shelves are a dark wood and the dark painted floorboards are worn with wear. In one of the three rooms the window is even covered over with bookshelves (probably because the view of books is much better than the wall opposite). It’s cozy and warm, people are speaking in hushed tones and there’s some slow groove music playing. Strategically placed stools invite you to stop and sit and really look at the books you’re choosing. It’s a place where people arrange to meet each other.

It’s also a place where strangers meet and chat. Everyone sits so closely to one another, I often overhear conversation. Mostly it starts over a book.

This post was written by Heidi Leadley. She describes herself as hopelessly unorganised, either early or late, enjoying time with my family, and sitting in beautiful gardens and bookshops.