Words by Ashley Valli.
There are plenty of reasons you should buy secondhand: it’s environmentally friendlier, reduces waste, you read more for your money, and you might even find a gem that’s no longer out on display with your average seller. Perth has a whole host of beautiful secondhand bookstores, many with their own unique character and perks.
Guildford Book Exchange
The Guildford Book Exchange is perfect for book-buying on a budget. It’s conveniently located next to the Guildford Milk Bar so you can enjoy one of the most hyped coffee shops in the area before (or after) setting off to surf some books at the local book exchange. Just a dollar or two to spare? No problem. All of the store’s cheapest reads are placed in boxes out the front, with a select few available for free. Inside the store is an amazon of different books and genres and sub-genres and sub-sub genres. Bookworm kids (and some nostalgic bookworm adults) will also love the wide and colourful selection of old children’s books located in a different room at the back of the store.
189 James Street, Guildford
New to the Perth area, but certainly ready for some book-buying action, is Bella Books. You won’t miss it on the drive over: the gigantic hot-pink paw prints all over the store front are sure to get your attention. Parking is readily available next door and you’ll feel like you’re walking into someone’s house where every room is covered in books. Bella Books is perfect for a laid-back Sunday if you happen to be fiending for some cheap books north of the river.
221 Main Street, Osborne Park
Elizabeth’s Bookshops specialises in quality secondhand books – but you’d think it was firsthand. You’ll find plenty of reader inspiration here, with their atmosphere for candle lights and old English tea. Have a coffee, do some shopping, and then head straight to Perth’s most beautiful secondhand bookstore. Elizabeth’s also has an antique section for older books kept in almost perfect condition for you to peruse. Take a gander. Just don’t be surprised if you’re walking out with a bag full of newly purchased books afterwards.
856 Hay Street, Perth CBD
23 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle
8 South Terrace, Fremantle
An undiscovered icon, Mainly Books is a quiet little reading nook tucked into a street just by Hyde Park – perfect as a bookish introvert’s store of choice. Service is friendly and will let you browse at ease in much-needed solitude. The books are in great condition and fairly priced. Many customers are also quite fond of the friendly older gentleman, the store owner, who often mans the checkout counter.
209 Bulwer Street, Perth
London Court Books
Perth’s smallest bookstore, London Court Books can be found in the middle of all the excitement: the Hay Street Mall area at the St Georges Terrace entrance of London Court. Here you’ll travel through a combustion of noise and excitement and coffee, and into a getaway island barely the size of a barbershop. While tiny, the bookstore still provides a point of difference if you’re in the mall area and not looking for the more mainstream books of Dymocks and Boffins Books further down. London Court Books are also proud to have more of a Western Australian focus in their book displays for those looking to read more local authors.
Psst: you can also visit London Court Books late Fridays and Saturdays!
London Court, Perth CBD
Muir Books AKA Robert Muir Old & Rare Books is the place to go for incredibly rare and out-of-print books, art, paintings and photographs. Filled with all kinds of oddities and literature from around the globe, don’t be surprised if you lose an afternoon in there just pouring through the archives.
17 Lindsay St, Perth
Like this? Check out Perth’s Best Independent Book Stores.