Jumping between worlds is a reader’s favourite pastime and finding the perfect bookstore is a quest within itself.
Here is a guide to 16 of Canberra’s best bookshops, from the independently owned to the classic chain, where you are guaranteed to find an adventure.
Located just inside the front entrance of the Fyshwick Markets, Book Lovers Lane is filled with books, DVDs, CDs, puzzles and more. Restocked weekly, visit the store for a good cause and a great bargain as all funds go towards the Lifeline Canberra 24-hour Crisis Support Service 13 11 14.
Open 10am-4pm Thursday-Friday and 9am-4pm Saturday-Sunday, at Fyshwick Markets’ Niche Markets, 36 Mildura Street, Fyshwick.
Book lovers will find heaven on earth at Canty’s Bookshop. Owned by Luke Canty, and established by his parents before him in 1992, the second-hand bookshop has 1.2km of shelves filled with books that would take hours to peruse.
Open 10.30am-5pm daily at 4/59-61 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick.
Run by the same family as Canty’s, you’re guaranteed to find a bargain at Barry’s.
Open 10.30am-5pm Thursday through Sunday at 23/59-61 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick.
A new independent bookshop in Kingston, The Book Cow stocks a large range of quality new books for readers of all ages and genres. Pop into the store and buy a book to support a local business.
Open 9am-5.30pm Monday-Thursday, 9am-7.30pm Friday, 9am-3pm Saturday and 10.30am-3pm Sunday, at 47 Jardine Street, Kingston.
The perfecting meeting spot for lovers of all things food, wine and books, Muse Canberra is located on the ground floor of East Hotel. As well selling new and second-hand books during the restaurant opening hours, Muse hosts a calendar of events featuring some of Australia’s top writers.
Open 6.30am-10pm weekdays, 7am-10pm Saturday and 7am-12pm Sunday, at East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston.
Known for its amazing customer service and diverse range of genres instore, Paperchain Bookstore is the place to go to find something new. If a book is in print, the staff will do their best to obtain it or they’ll suggest something exciting.
Open 9am-8pm Sunday-Thursday, and 9am-9pm Friday-Saturday, at 34 Franklin Street, Manuka.
Located next to Tilley’s Café in Lyneham, Book Lore has a vast range of second-hand books to explore, with categories ranging from art, music, science fiction and more.
Open 10am-5.30pm daily at 94 Wattle Street, Lyneham.
Victoria’s oldest independent bookshop is serving the Canberra community with an amazing array of books.
Open 9am-5.30pm Monday-Thursday, 9am-9pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday, at Canberra Centre.
A privately owned, independent bookshop that features a range of titles from a mix of genres, Book Passion is owned and operated by Canberra locals. Browse their Philosophy or Poetry sections while taking a break from shopping for groceries.
Open 9am-5.30pm Wednesday-Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, and 9am-4pm Sunday, at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets.
This popular independent bookstore, which opened at The Marketplace in November 2016, boasts “the best range of books in Gungahlin”. Home to an extensive selection of children’s books and a wide range of adult genres including a fiction section with a strong focus on Australian authors and literary fiction.
Open seven days, at 33 Hibberson Street, Gungahlin in The Marketplace.
As the nation’s specialist Australian bookshop, the National Library of Australia (NLA) bookshop has an amazing range of Australian fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature titles. They source books both locally and interstate, featuring works from a range of Australian writers and artists.
Open 9am-5pm daily (except Good Friday and Christmas Day), at National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Parkes.
This independent bookstore is found in two iconic locations in Canberra: The National Portrait Gallery and National Arboretum. For readers who love art, botany, design and photography, The Curatoreum is a must.
Open 10am-4pm daily at National Portrait Gallery (King Edward Terrace, Parkes) and the National Arboretum.
While Impact Comics don’t carry traditional books, there’s something to be found here for every kid to read, big and small.
Open 10am-5pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-9pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday, at 16 Garema Place, Canberra City.
Harry Hartog is a meeting place for readers, one that allows them to jump between the worlds in books and the world around. With miles of books and gifts, it’s well worth the trip to Harry Hartog.
Woden store: Open 9am-5.30pm Monday-Thursday, 9am-9pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday, Westfield Woden.
ANU store: Open 9am-5.30pm Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday, at Kambri.
QBD Books is located all over Canberra, making it one of the most convenient places to duck in and grab a new read. Visit any of the stores in the Canberra Centre, Westfield Woden or Westfield Belconnen to cure your book cravings.
Open every day.
A classic bookstore for readers, Dymocks almost always has what want you want (and what you didn’t know you wanted) in stock.
Open every day at Canberra Centre and Westfield Belconnen.
Do you have a favourite bookshop in Canberra you’d like to see added to the list? Comment below (keep it friendly) to share your top picks.