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The Chestnut Tree Bookshop Blooms in West Footscray

If you are looking for a well-stocked Melbourne bookshop to browse or a place relax over your new reads while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, The Chestnut Tree West Footscray is the bookstore for you. 

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The Chestnut Tree West Footscray

Melbourne architecture firm Ewert Leaf has transformed an empty shell, a sizable ground-floor premises on buzzing Barkly Street, into cosy local independent bookshop. 

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Owner Reem Sweid, an academic who decided to move into retail after finishing her PhD in 2019 gave them this brief: to come up with a hybrid space for retail and hospitality. I think they’ve successfully combined these two functions into one stylish space!

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The stunning floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, housing a staggering 10,000 books, is a wonder to behold. They carry a large range of latest releases and classic titles, from children’s books, history, art, politics, literature, geography, politics, world religions, mysteries, sports and more. 

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Further, the collection aims to prioritise indigenous writers, local writers and writers from multicultural backgrounds, works of female writers and Australian writers. 

There are also games, puzzles and giftware to delight any booklover. 

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The Chestnut Tree offer free delivery if you live locally or a flat rate shipping fee of $6.50 anywhere in Australia.

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The plum carpet and light wood decor is styled like your favourite lounge room, with seating dotted around making it the perfect place to meet a friend.

Even better, children can be occupied reading in their dedicated child friendly corner with cosy nooks. 

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When you’re in store (currently takeaway only) you can enjoy a hot drink and pastries from selected local suppliers, including an ethically sourced coffee by Kensington’s Rumble Coffee Roasters, hot chocolate by North Melbourne’s Mork Chocolate, tea by Beit e’Shai, handmade chai by Chai Villain in Williams Landing and Yarraville’s Motte Bakery pastries. 

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If you are a school librarian or teacher you can open a school account and get access to discounted prices, flip through a free copy of the annual Australian Booksellers Association Kid’s Reading Guide and receive a monthly ‘approval box’ where they deliver a box of their favourite kids’ reads and you choose which ones you would like to add to your school’s collection.

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Another thing that sets The Chestnut Tree apart is their commitment to environmental sustainability. If you are a book lover committed to reforestation, any book you buy contributes to planting a native tree in the bushfire affected areas of Australia.

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The Chestnut Tree has partnered with One Tree Planted through its one-for-one program. Every month the Chestnut Tree bookshop tallies how many books have been sold and makes a donation to One Tree Planted. Once they’ve received the donation online, a new tree is planted, maintained and monitored, and they receive reports on impact generated.

When the bookshop is fully open you can look forward to becoming a community hub with hosting book groups, readings and author events. 

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The Chestnut Tree is a must-visit shop if you’re a bookish person in the West. It’s not a chain and is one of Melbourne’s best independent bookshops. It’s got a huge selection of books. And it’s the kind of place where you can browse for hours or enjoy a coffee, have a chat, and immerse yourself in a good story. And don’t forget to try the cakes! 

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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