Australia is one of the great literary nations on Earth. Its hipster capital, Melbourne, is a UNESCO City of Literature — hosting literary festivals and being home to the stunning State Library of Victoria. That means there are plenty of places to pick up second-hang books in Australia.
Why Buy Second-Hand Books in Australia?
Some of the world’s best contemporary writers also hail from the book land down under (Gillian, Rubinstein, Richard Flanagan, and The Book Thief’s Markus Zusak, to name a few).
Picking up second-hand books while travelling is one of our favourite things to do, it keeps costs low and we’re happy to leave them for the next person. You can also find some gems you’d never find at home.
When you visit this wonderful nation of arts and literature, where are some of the best places to pick up your newest stack of great books? Let’s look at these ten places to buy second-hand books in Australia, to start you off.
We at Books and Bao argue that every great bookstore should have a cafe: a place to relax with coffee and cake, and browse through your new stack of reads.
Buying a copy of Max Porter’s Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, sitting in the store’s cafe, and devouring that book in a single sitting is a cherished memory of mine.
Well, Sappho has more than even that! It also becomes a book bar after 6 pm from Wednesday to Saturday. They host events, readings, and revert back to a cafe come morning. Paradise? Paradise. And one of the best places to buy second-hand books in Australia.
51 Glebe Point Rd, Sydney NSW 2037, Australia
Gumtree is used by many people shopping for many things all over the world. In Australia, it is a uniquely popular place to buy and sell second-hand books.
The selections are particularly broad, and you can find some incredible gems! If you live in, work in, or are just visiting Australia, definitely turn to Gumtree for some cheap, rare, and unusual book and manga options! You really never know what you might discover.
This place is an absolute dream. Located just outside a pretty little historic town in New South Wales called Berrima, this book barn holds thousands of books - new, used, antique, you name it - and they’re all huddled around an old stone fireplace.
Here you can lose yourself in a giant labyrinth of books, sit by the fire, and read. You’ll feel just like Belle in the only Beauty & The Beast scene any book-lover really cares about.
87 Memorial Drive, Eumundi, Sunshine Coast, QLD.
You need to make your visit to this site part of your daily routine. They update their homepage Featured Books all the time and they’re always something varied, strange, and intriguing.
Their most diverse and popular categories are all about Australian travel, history, and military. If you’re travelling Australia and want to really dig into its history and culture, grabbing a book at Reading Habit is the best move to make!
This bookstore is run by a family of forty volunteers. It provides books to refugees and migrants to Australia. They run language and literacy classes to help migrants build a life in their new home, and they encourage book ownership and reading.
This shop is an absolute good. Its mission and its actions are important and should be supported. If you’re in Brisbane, please give this shop a visit, buy a book, and show your support.
Shop 12/478 Ipswich Rd, Annerley QLD 4103, Australia
Another bookshop cafe! Every town needs one! Here in Australia’s capital, Beyond Q sells all the latest bestsellers, serves you fantastic coffee and fresh sandwiches, and gives you a place to sit and relax as you enjoy your newest read.
They also have frequent live music from local artists! Books, coffee, and music? And you thought Disneyland was the happiest place on Earth.
7/11 Brierly St, Weston ACT 2611, Australia
This bookstore is a stunning beauty, inside and out. The building lives up to the name antiquarian, built in a neo-gothic style and looking not unlike a fairytale castle or something Victor Frankenstein would have holed up in.
As you browse, you’ll find rare antique books from as far back as the fifteenth century, predating Shakespeare himself.
The bookstore’s people are also incredibly knowledgeable and invested in the art of buying and selling antique books. A perfect place to buy second-hand books in Australia.
156 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
This delightful independent bookstore must be on your visit list when you head to Melbourne. They’re a proper community store, with narrow shelves overflowing with books new and old.
They also do their home nation proud with a focus on Australian books by Australian writers. If you want to learn more about the rich literary history of Australia, they can and will help you out!
60 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
This bookshop is a family business through and through. It’s been standing for decades and it houses new titles and rare books dating back hundreds of years.
You can honestly find anything and everything here. It’s one of the best bookstores you’ll find in Adelaide, and it's cosy, friendly family atmosphere makes you feel completely at home.
19 Bank Street (14b Station Arcade), Adelaide, Australia, 5000
Run by a delightful couple, this online bookstore is based out of, well, Berry. They do all the work for you by travelling around Australia, visiting book fairs and selecting the best books for their site. If it’s for sale on Berry Books, it’s guaranteed to be a good read!
The site itself also categorises really specifically, so if there’s a unique niche that you enjoy - for example, Magic & Occult or Gold Mining, you’ll find it on Berry Books.