Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 19, 2020

Support your bricks-and-mortar bookshop during the pandemic

Please note: the situation with COVID_19 is changing day by day, in Australia with more news of closures, and welcome news about support services and nimble organisations which are adapting with digital alternatives.  I have tagged all my posts with #COVID_19 so you can follow developments, and for a single authoritative voice offering the latest information and advice listen to the ABC Coronacast podcasts delivered by Dr Norman Swan, which is accessible to international visitors as well.


Whatever your situation, quarantined or self-isolated or just anxious about being out and about, now is the time to shop local to support bricks-and-mortar business.  Your decisions contribute to whether or not that business will survive to make your life a pleasure when this is all over.

So, without further ado, these are the Melbourne bookshops that have emailed me to advise that they will take online or phone orders and deliver to your door.  The links go to their website.

Benn’s Bookshop Bentleigh: I was in there yesterday acquiring some beaut additions to the TBR, among them a new release called Melting Moments from Anna Goldsworthy and a bargain copy of Caroline Chisholm’s biography by Sarah Goldman.  It was a bit eerie to think that it could be the last time for a while that I could wander among the books, but the service was wonderful as always.  I love this bookshop and the people who run it, and they have a great range of books.

Beaumaris Books: This is the bookshop that hosts author events in my local area and you have read about their launches and author talks here on the blog e.g. Enza Gandolfo talking about her brilliant book The Bridge.  You can’t order online, but you can contact them by phone or email, and if you live in Beaumaris, Black Rock, Cheltenham, Mentone, Parkdale, Highett, Hampton & Sandringham Cheryl and Andrew can DELIVER to you. Yes, with freshly hand sanitized hands, they will place your book in a paper bag and drop outside your door! Phone +61 422 522 007; Email read@beaumarisbooks.com.au

Readings Bookshop:  Melbourne’s iconic bookshop, which heroically fought off the corporate interloper Borders (yay!) and has the best schedule of author events in the city.   They are still ordering books, reading them, reviewing them, recommending them, selling them, and sending them out. You can contact each of their branches from here and they have one of the best websites for online ordering, complete with a blog and reader reviews about many of the books.  Check out their bargain table as well.

I took this photo at Readings Hawthorn (I think)

Ulysses Bookstore Sandringham: This bookshop is always on my circuit for National Bookshop day.  Their website says that you can contact them here and they will get your books to you.  You can sign up here for newsletters about new titles.

Of course there are lots of other bookshops, these are just the ones that get my regular custom and I’m on their email contact list.  Feel free to add your favourites in comments below, and I’ll add them to my list.

There are also *Australian* online stores who will benefit from your custom.  #CorrectMeIfI’mWrong They don’t support authors with author talks and launches, and I don’t think they sponsor litfests either, but buying from them is a much kinder thing to do than buying from That Big Greedy American Behemoth that contributes nothing to Australia, not even tax.  I used Fishpond the other day to get a toy voucher to a friend, but I also use Booktopia occasionally.

Because I’m not interested in fashion, posh cars, the Female Appearance Industry or endlessly renovating my house and putting New Stuff in it, my disposable income mostly goes on books.  Yes, I spend *a lot* of money at my favourite bookstores, but even my profligate book buying is not going to keep them afloat unless other readers spend money too.  If you’re ok, and you’re still in work and getting your salary or your superannuation or whatever, please spend it thoughtfully.

And when you’ve finished your book, spare a thought for people doing it tough.  I usually take my retired books to OpShops, but if they’re not closed yet, they may be soon because they are usually staffed by elderly volunteers who are vulnerable to COVID_19.  But you can find a Street Library here and share the love, or start your own. (In our street, everybody puts surplus fruit and veg from the backyard in boxes on the nature strip; we recycle unwanted goods that way too so I think a box of pre-loved books would work the same way.  Just watch out for Melbourne’s capricious weather).

Finally, advice to stay off social media is emerging.  Well, that’s expert advice, and I’m not one to quarrel with experts.  However, there is social media that *isn’t* toxic, and *isn’t* peddling misinformation.  As I said in my previous post Ten Bookish Things to Do While Self-isolated At Home, there is a friendly and welcoming bookish community that will help you feel less alone in these anxious times.

Update: thanks to Kim from Reading Matters for this info: Books+Publishing have put together a great list of book stores and what they’re doing here: https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/03/18/147865/australian-bookshops-respond-to-covid-19/

Update, thanks to Nick (see comments below) for two more suggestions:

  • The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville My local bookstore, The Sun in Yarraville, will deliver free the same day if you live locally and don’t want to venture out. They are great at supporting writers,
  • The Eltham Bookshop is also offering free delivery.

Nick BTW is Nick Gadd, author of Death of a Typographer.  Find out more about him here!

Update 21/3/20 Thanks to Mary (see comment below) for news that the Avenue Books chain in Albert Park, Richmond and Elsternwick are home delivering locally. She received Hilary Mantel’s latest within 2 hours.  Great service and helps keep their part time staff who are usually students in work.


Responses

  1. Snap! I visited my local Dymocks last week to buy a copy of ‘The Mirror and The Light’ and I’ve just purchased a copy of Paul Kelly’s ‘Love is Strong as Death’ from Booktopia. I had borrowed a copy of Paul Kelly’s book from the library but I can’t live without my own copy of these poems. Buying local is more important than ever.

    Like

    • Well done!
      I bet you beat me to it with reading The Mirror and the Light! My copy from Readings arrives last week, but I can’t even contemplate reading it yet, not till my eyes are up to a solid few hours of reading it at a time.
      It’s killing me, I am dying to read that book…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your eyes will improve quickly, I hope.

        Like

        • *weary sigh* I know I shouldn’t complain, but I am getting fed up.

          Like

  2. I don’t think staying off social media while socially isolated is a good idea. Just curate your newsfeed and contacts to less stressful content. I am on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I never feel as though amy of them are toxic environments. However, my focus is very bookish, and I find this community for the most part very welcoming and enjoyable.

    Like

    • That’s what I think too. I mean, we know that it can be horrible, especially for teenagers, but my experience of it is like yours. Bookish people are lovely people!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Living remote as I do, I’d be lost without my bookish connections and friends.

        Like

        • I’m the same: I don’t live remotely, but nobody in my f2f life shares my obsession with books, so I’d be lost too.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Great advice, Lisa. I bought two books at my local indie on Tuesday when I had a day off even though I have more than enough books at home to be getting on with 🤷🏻‍♀️

    Books+Publishing have put together a great list of book stores and what they’re doing here: https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/03/18/147865/australian-bookshops-respond-to-covid-19/

    Like

    • LOL we share a need for books that we don’t really need!
      That’s a great list, thanks I’ll add it to the post in case people don’t read these comments.

      Like

  4. My local bookstore, The Sun in Yarraville, will deliver free the same day if you live locally and don’t want to venture out. They are great at supporting writers, too. https://sunbookshop.com/. Another great one that will send books to you free is Eltham Bookshop https://www.facebook.com/elthambookshop/

    Like

    • Thank you Nick… I know the Eltham Bookshop, it has a great range of books from Asia and beyond. The Offspring’s MIL lives out that way, which is a good long distance from my place, so if there’s an event I *really* want to go to there, I stay at her place (and we have a nice dinner at one of the local restaurants too!)
      I’ll add both these suggestions to my post, thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reminder! I just ordered myself some books from Readings.

    Like

    • Lovely! What did you buy? (I’ve still got the last Readings Catalogue marked up with what I want, I was so extravagant last month with their translations and some other ‘essentials’ I am waiting till payday before I order, but I know what I want).

      Like

  6. Avenue Books in Albert Park, Richmond and Elsternwick are home delivering locally. I received Hilary Mantel’s latest within 2 hours. Great service and helps keep their part time staff who are usually students in work.

    Like

    • Thanks, Mary, I’ll add this too. I’ve been to the Elsternwick store, it’s where I buy my Hanukkah cards!

      Like

  7. […] If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can buy a copy for yourself or a friend, neighbour or a relative from Fishpond, Parlour Games for Modern Families direct from Scribe Publishing, or any of the bookstores still delivering. […]

    Like

  8. When I see a must-have book I phone Crow Books, Victoria Park WA and they get it in for me to pick up. I don’t know about deliveries in these times of isolation, but they are almost our only indie (the same guy owns New Edition in Fremantle). You haven’t mentioned the (declining numbers of) second hand shops which depend almost entirely on browsing – Bill’s and Elizabeths in Fremantle for instance – which depend almost entirely on browsing, some online I suppose. Or the cafe bookshops, there’s one in TAG Hungerford’s old house in South Perth. I only know south of the river!

    Like

    • Yes, you’re right, I haven’t covered 2nd hand shops, because I haven’t heard from them. There are OpShops all around me which sell books, but I’m assuming they’ll close because they’re all staffed by older people, and there’s one bricks-and-mortar bookshop nearby but I haven’t had word from them. I can only do what I can do!

      Like

  9. […] Available from Fishpond with free delivery in Australia: Dragon’s Gate, direct from Hybrid Publishers, and good bookshops everywhere.  Remember, most bookshops are still in business and are offering various forms of home delivery.  See my post for Melbourne booksellers who need your support here. […]

    Like

  10. […] Available from Fishpond with free delivery in Australia: Dragon’s Gate, direct from Hybrid Publishers where you can buy it as an eBook, and good bookshops everywhere.  Remember, most bookshops are still in business and are offering various forms of home delivery.  See my post for Melbourne booksellers who need your support here. […]

    Like

  11. […] If you want to buy a copy for yourself or a friend, neighbour or a relative, it’s available from Fishpond, Parlour Games for Modern Families direct from Scribe Publishing, or any of the bookstores still delivering. […]

    Like

  12. […] If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can buy a copy for yourself or a friend, neighbour or a relative from Fishpond, Parlour Games for Modern Families direct from Scribe Publishing, or any of the bookstores still delivering. […]

    Like

  13. […] Available direct from Spinifex Press, who have a special offer on print editions: 20% off and free delivery for Australian orders till the end of May.  Or support your bricks-and-mortar bookshop during the pandemic. […]

    Like

  14. […] Another book set in Sydney about Australia’s underclass, is the beautiful new novel Symphony for the Man by Sarah Brill.  It’s about a young woman who sees a homeless man and wants to do something for him.  Although she has nothing much in the way of musical background, she wants to write him a symphony.  As I said in my review, do not let this book get under your radar just because the bookshops are closed.  You can order it from any number of bookshops that are trading online… […]

    Like

  15. […] Available direct from Transit Lounge  from Fishpond: Navigable Ink and other good bookstores. Remember to support your local bookstore! […]

    Like

  16. […] Available direct from Giramondo Publishing, from Fishpond Napoleon’s Beekeeper and remember to support your local bricks-and-mortar bookshop if it is still trading! […]

    Like

  17. […] Available direct from Wakefield Press (who are still trading) and Fishpond: A New Name for the Colour Blue. Please support Australian booksellers and your bricks-and-mortar bookshop if you can. […]

    Like

  18. […] #BuyAustralian: Available from Fishpond The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams or direct from Affirm Press or your local bricks-and-mortar Aussie bookshop if they are still trading online. […]

    Like


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