"Call us old-fashioned, but Melbourne still loves a bricks-and-mortar bookshop," the Age noted in a piece on the Australian city's independent bookseller resurgence.
Chris Redfern, owner of Avenue Bookstore in Albert Park and Elsternwick, has opened a third shop in Richmond. "In the post-Borders world there is a great opportunity for good bookstores to thrive," Redfern says. "People have realized that going to a local bookshop--with great stock and knowledgeable staff--is a cultural experience, a curated experience. We select books and we talk to people about them.... On the day we opened we had people coming in all day who were rapt to have us in their neighborhood."
Joel Becker, CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association, observed: "There is something about Melbourne, a strong sense of high streets as places to shop at community-based businesses.... It's about listening to people coming into the shop--what they are interested in, what they have enjoyed reading--and putting something in their hands: not just to make a sale, but so the customer leaves satisfied."
One of Melbourne's best-known independent bookshops, Readings, "is also expanding, opening a branch at Westfield Doncaster on Monday and a dedicated children's shop in Carlton later this month," the Age wrote. Joe Rubbo, manager of the new store and son of Readings owner Mark Rubbo, said, "We're going to continue doing what we do best. We'll still be championing Australian fiction, Australian writers and publishers, and interesting literary fiction. We'll appeal to existing Readings customers, though we'll have the mass-market books, too."