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16 Best Bookshops to Buy Second Hand Books in Melbourne

Are you or your kids tired of reading the same old books on your bookshelf? Normally you have a few choices – visit one of Melbourne’s best libraries or scan the shelves of one of Melbourne’s best children’s bookshops or Melbourne’s best bookshops.

BUT … there is another choice – browse the best second hand bookstores Melbourne has to offer.

There are multiple reasons to shop in used book stores; you can find titles that are out of print, it’s economically more sustainable (especially for voracious readers), and buying preloved goods is generally a more environmentally sound choice.

Each Melbourne secondhand bookshop is sorted by area so you can find one (or a few) near you, or browse the best second hand books online.

SECOND HAND BOOKSHOP MELBOURNE CBD

1. City Basement Books, Melbourne

City Basement Books is a long standing secondhand bookstore hidden underground off Flinders St. It doesn’t specialise in any subject, but does stock a range of antique and rare titles. You can browse their catalogue or subject categories online, or head instore.

City Basement Books, 342 Flinders St, Melbourne, (03) 9620 0428

City Basement Books M

2. Books For Cooks, Melbourne

A new and second hand book shop that is haven for foodies, Books for Cooks exclusively sells books about food and drinks. A large portion of the customers are chefs or work in the hospitality industry, and they have plenty to please the general public too.

Books for Cooks, 115-121 Victoria St, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, (03) 8415 1415

Books For Cooks

SECOND HAND BOOKSHOPS MELBOURNE NORthERn SUBURBS

3. The Searchers, Collingwood

Half record store, half book store, The Searchers is home to new and second hand vinyl and books.

There is a focus on film and music books, hover most genres will appear amongst the thousands of books for sale.

The Searchers, 93 Smith St, Collingwood, (03) 9939 0096

The Searchers

4. Brown & Bunting Booksellers, Northcote

If you want to visit several stores at once in Melbourne second hand books are plentiful in the inner northern suburbs.

Owned by experienced book traders Travis Brown and Benita Bunting, Brown & Bunting have an excellent selection of children’s literature and general literature, and they also have design, art, non-fiction and cook books. They have collectible titles come through the store, but they are often snapped up quickly by discerning customers.

Brown & Bunting Booksellers, 237 High St, Northcote, (03) 9481 3388

5. Already Read Bookshop, North Fitzroy

Already Read Bookshop have been operating for more than 10 years, with a collection of most types of books, but a soft spot for contemporary literary fiction and interesting non-fiction.

Already Read Bookshop, 98 Scotchmer St, North Fitzroy, (03) 9489 1092

6. Alice’s Bookshop, Carlton North

Stocking fine, rare and secondhand books, Alice’s Bookshop has been trading for 3 decades.

Literature, music, the arts, history, philosophy, psychology, gardening and children’s books are plentiful in their inventory of approximately 18 thousand books, but most genres are represented.

If you want to sell books Melbourne institution Alice’s do purchase your preloved volumes, but it’s best to email or call first. Donations are gratefully received, however they don’t accept text books or computer books.

Alice’s Bookshop, 629 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, (03) 9347 4656

Alices Bookshop M

7. Golden Bowl Books, Coburg

Head to Golden Bowl Books for a selection including childrens books, cook books and classic fiction. They offer local delivery, but if you venture in store you might be lucky to spot the book shop cat!

Golden Bowl Books, 280 Sydney Rd, Coburg,  0400 066 287

Golden Bowl Books

second hand bookstore melbourne south / south eastern suburbs

8. Centre Court Book Exchange, Pakenham

Jim Gregory, the owner of Centre Court Book Exchange, is seemingly able to locate every book in the old school style store. They have a collection of pulp and popular fiction, as well as children’s books. While it might be a bit of a journey to get to Centre Court, it’s definitely worth the trip!

If you’re looking for someone to buy second hand books, Jim will look at your book, or a box of them. However, it’s best to call in advance.

Centre Court Book Exchange, Shop 11, Centre Court Exchange, 154-158 Main St, Pakenham, (03)

9. Frankston Book Exchange

It’s becoming rare to find a Melbourne second hand bookshop in an arcade, but tucked away in Frankston is a well cared for shop, the Frankston Book Exchange, filled with second hand books to purchase, take home and enjoy.

Frankston Book Exchange, The Heart Arcade, 16-20 Wells St, Frankston, (03) 9783 1087

second hand book shops melbourne Eastern Suburbs

10. Sainsburys Books, Camberwell

Sainsburys Books, a well known second-hand book shop, is owned by veteran bookseller John Sainsbury. It stocks a wide range of out of print titles and quality books including architecture, art, photography, academic and literature. The arts, including photography, make up more than half of some 20 000 volumes in store.

Sainsburys Books, 534 Riversdale Rd, Camberwell, (03) 9882 7705

11. Syber’s Books, Malvern & Caulfield

There are two Syber’s Bookstores – Penny’s store in Malvern and David’s in Caulfield. They are home to a lot of books, and a few cats too.

Penny’s store has some 75 bookcases full of science fiction and fantasy, Australian literature, true crime, crime fiction, modern war history, natural history and children’s books.

David’s store is the processing and warehouse side of the business, and also houses a substantial collection of books, spanning most genres. It’s open to the public for limited hours.

Syber’s Books, 227 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, (03) 9530 2222

Syber’s Books, 666 Glenhuntly Rd, Caulfield, (03) 9523 6686

Sybers Books Min

secondhand books Melbourne Western Suburbs

12. Willows & Wine, West Melbourne

Pre-loved books and a wine bar, what a perfect combination. They accept book donations and purchase books from op-shops and charity shops for resale.

Willows & Wine, 315 Victoria Street, West Melbourne

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13. Erinbank Books, Kensington

Literary wonderland, Erinbank Books, offers an incredible selection of new and gently used books just waiting for you to discover.

With a vast array of over 7000 titles that are constantly updated, bookworms of all ages will be able to find gems that are sure to delight. From rare finds and signed copies to new releases and first editions, you’ll never run out of amazing reads to explore.

Erinbank Books opens at 10 am, 7 days a week.

Erinbank Books, 490 Macaulay Rd. Kensington, erinbank.books@gmail.com

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Erinbank Books

14. Seddon Book Alley, Seddon

Seddon Book Alley is a secondhand bookstore in Seddon Village stocking children’s books, biographies, art, and top-selling Australian and international crime and fiction.

It’s a second hand bookshop near me, and we’re lucky to be close to such a good collection of children’s books.

If you love a surprise, you can order a ‘Brown Bag of Books’ . It’s like a bookish lucky dip!

You just select the genre (including childrens/YA titles) and $dollar amount and Robert will select the books and deliver them to you. If you have any specific titles in mind he will even scour the shelves and stock out the back to see if they have it.

Seddon Book Alley can also assist with restoration / repairs and rebinding favourite books.

Seddon Book Alley, 107 Victoria Street Seddon, 0419 524 320

Seddon Book Alley Big Bag of Books

15. Academic and High School Bookshop, Moonee Ponds

Academic and text books for school can cost a fortune, but the Academic and High School Bookshop buys and sells second hand high school and university books.

Academic and High School Bookshop, 700 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, (03) 9326 1819

second hand books Online

16. Brotherhood Books

Buy reasonably-priced titles from the range of 2nd hand books available from the not-for-profit online store of Brotherhood Books, run by The Brotherhood of St Laurence. Your books will be posted for $6, with free delivery if you order 3 or more books.

If you can’t find something in the second hand book store you’re looking for immediately, it can be prudent to try a couple of different search terms (e.g. author, title, series).


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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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