Roadtest: Inner West Bookshops

In the age of e-readers and e-books, many argue that the printed word is becoming obsolete. Obviously those people have not noticed that the Inner West is home to some of the best independent bookshops in Sydney…and they are all still going strong! Here’s our pick of the best.

This discount bookshop in Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre has a very random selection and isn’t very well organised but the books are cheap as chips – in fact everything in the store is around $5. Good for kids books, cookbooks and impulse buys.



Berkelouw Books

This is a local fave with locations in both Leichhardt and Newtown. While I think the big drawcard here is the popular café and central location, the books are good too. Things are well organised by genre, easy to find and they actually buy and sell old and rare books. Plus they have cool novelty books, which are great for gifts, and are very child friendly (they even run a children’s reading program).



Shearer’s Bookshop

These guys have just relocated to MarketPlace Leichhardt. While there is no longer the café attached now, there is still the same great selection of books that has always been available at Shearer’s – the staff are extra friendly and know their stuff too.




Many Inner Westies count this shop as their fave independent bookstore and with good reason – it has two locations on Glebe Point Rd, one only specialising in second-hand, rare and antiquarian books. It has a great atmosphere and collection of fiction and non-fiction stuff, and they also host regular events and author talks.



Hill of Content

Started by A.H Spencer, who was born in Balmain in 1886 and started his career in the book industry working under George Robertson of Angus & Robertson in 1900, this Balmain bookshop has some great history behind it. It’s always neat, well-organised and well-stocked.


Better Read Than Dead

A popular Newtown store with almost a cult-like following, this place is known for having very helpful staff – there’s even a staff recommendations section on their website. These guys love their literature and stock books from a long list of categories.



This famously chaotic store has almost a million books housed in their multi-level Newtown premises and the best thing about it is that it stays open late. You can spend hours getting lost amongst the fabulous books and you’ll probably end up finding a few gems – if you’re willing to search. They specialise in out of print books and second hand books, but also stock general reading as well as specialist genres. A must visit.





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