Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 25, 2014

Grant’s Bookshop has moved nearby!

IMG_1498Grant’s Bookshop – specialising in old and rare books – has been a Melbourne institution for years.  They used to be in Armadale, a lovely place to shop but absolute hell in terms of traffic and parking, so I am ecstatic that they have now moved to nearby Sandringham.

I was on my way back from a bit of shopping in Hampton when I spied their sandwich board on the nature strip in Tulip Street.  Well, how could I resist?

You can see my new treasures in the photo at right:

  • Three first editions by Rodney Hall, twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award for Just Relations (1982) and the Grisly Wife (1994) and one of my favourite authors (but hard to find in any edition)
    • Captivity Captive, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 1989
    • The Second Bridegroom, shortlisted for the MF in 1992, and
    • The Island in the Mind,  shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year Fiction Prize in 1996
  • The UQP first edition of Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang which won him his second Booker in 2001.  I had a first American edition, but this is the proper Australian edition with a deckled edge, nicely protected in a Mylar cover.
  • A gorgeous first edition of Randolph Stow’s debut novel A Haunted Land (1956) with a cover photo on the back that shows him looking like a schoolboy with Robert Menzies eyebrows.  (Well, at 21 he wasn’t long out of school.  He was only 23 when he won the Miles Franklin for To the Islands in 1958 but the work showed a maturity that you don’t often see in young authors today.)
  • Another one for my David Malouf collection: the UK first edition of Child’s Play, with Eustace and The Prowler.  (When I reviewed Child’s Play, I only had a copy from the library so I was rapt to find this one).
  • Best of all, two Patrick White titles that I didn’t know existed.  A first edition of his Four Plays published by Eyre and Spottiswoode (1965).  The Plays are The Ham Funeral (1947); The Season at Sarsaparilla (1961); A Cheery Soul (1962); and Night on Bald Mountain (1962) which I had the pleasure of seeing performed at the Merlyn Theatre earlier this year.  The other one is a collection of his essays and articles published as Patrick White Speaks (1989) by Primavera Press.  It includes his autobiographical essay published in Sweden when he won the Nobel Prize, and some splendid photos of him as well.

When my credit card recovers, I’m going back to check out their collection of Zolas!

Grant’s Bookshop, 4/91 Tulip Street, Sandringham
Open Wednesday to Sunday 1-5.30pm
Ph 613 9585 4181




  1. It is wonderful to read of someone else who simply loves books & bookshops.

    When I was first in Australia I caught the train from mid NSW down to Victoria. There was a change in Melbourne of trains & a wait of three hours. I was directed to a left luggage depot where I deposited my bags. I went off to explore a bookshop or two. Sadly I was so enthused by the experience that I missed the train & had an overnight in Melbourne. Oops!


    • Oh, that is gorgeous! I bet I know which bookshop it was too, there’s still one there just across the road from the Flinders Street Station …
      There’s something about the smell of old books that are kept in splendid bookshelves and lovely old cabinets. Just browsing around in a wonderland of beautiful books reminded me of being a kid in the toyshop that was below the flat we lived in when we were in Chelsea (the London one, not the Chelsea here in Melbourne). Everywhere I looked there was something else to take my fancy, and just as when I’d spent my pocket-money in the toy shop, I knew I’d have to save up and come back again!


  2. That is a great haul! How exciting! I love walking into a second hand bookshop and coming out with unexpected treasures.


    • Yes indeed, it’s the unexpected that makes it such a delight. And it’s huge, there’s so much more to explore!


  3. Great they moving near you Lisa always nice to have a great bookshop on your doorstep


    • It’s good to find that it’s not all gloom and doom about bookstores closing.


  4. My goodness, that’s quite a haul. I’m assuming they were all reasonably priced. I looked into buying first editions of John McGahern’s work last time I was in Dublin but the cheapest was about 300 euro!


    • Most of them cost less than buying a new paperback (Aussie prices, you know) but the Peter Carey and the Randolph Stow were expensive. Nothing like 300 euros though!


  5. Sandringham now . . ? I’m still missing the old Grant’s on Toorak Rd.


    • Come on down:) There are plenty of nice places for coffee afterwards in Sandy & Hampton, and if you come by the beach road, there’s a lovely view en route!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] want, like Pam at Travellin’ Penguin who lives in Tasmania and collects vintage Penguins or Lisa at ANZLitLovers who collects first edition Miles Franklin Award Winners. Pam lists what she has and what […]


  7. […] Grants Books Cheltenham (second-hand treasures) […]


  8. […] haven’t got to Grants Books Cheltenham where I find second-hand treasures because my credit card needs to recover a bit.  But I will.  […]


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