Perth Independent Book Tour, by Jess Rae

When you don’t drink alcohol or coffee, what could possibly be your vice? Bookstores—duh! At least in my case that’s exactly what it is. It’s true, loyal Underground readers: I took one for the team, went on a bookstore tour and spent a lot of money, but shhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s for research, I swear. I had ear surgery the day prior and so had the time off. Your girl needed some new material for her recovery. Below are the bookstores I visited and their pros and cons.

Beaufort Street Books

I parked by the beautiful Hyde Park and took a short walk past the narrow, idyllic houses of Mary Street for breakfast at the aptly-named Mary Street Bakery; the perfect location for a lovely read of your new papery purchases. Beaufort Street Books was not a store I had heard of and stumbled upon it, by chance, on my way to Planet Books.

It was one of the smaller bookstores I visited but quite adorable, nonetheless. Featuring leather armchairs, a round activity table and novelty pillows piled up in corners, Beaufort Street Books is especially perfect if you have children. They have weekly story time as well as a kids’ book club for different age groups. This is the bookstore to get those youngsters interested in reading. There are plenty of choices for older readers but its their collection of Children’s books that struck me as impressive.

What did I buy?

The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan
“Read Fast Die Young” badge

Planet Books

Next up, and only 300m down the road from Beaufort Street Books, is Planet Books. Planet Books is your one stop shop for weird, wacky book-related things in Mt Lawley. Aside from books, this store also stocks games, shirts, socks, stationary, bags, etc. I could spend hours perusing its many shelves and curling up on the couches, flicking through one of my potential purchases. It’s made easier when Lawley’s Bakery and the cookie empire, Get Chunky, is less than 100m away.

Unlike Beaufort Street Books, Planet Books has a large poetry collection and a decent travel section. They also have your music, media, psychology and food interests covered, as well your favourite YA, classic and graphic novel reads. My parting note on Planet Books is that they buy and sell local authors’ self-published works. I actually ended up purchasing a poetry book written by a local Perth woman.

What did I buy?

6222 Syllables by Sarah Furtner
The Day is Ready For You by Alison Malee
Western Australia Book Bag
Rabbit illustrated jotting paper

The Lane Book Shop

The Lane Book Shop hides in an adorable, little laneway (almost too well) that reminds me of Melbourne’s arcades. We’re talking high ceilings, overpriced gift stores filled with cute trinkets and Instagram-friendly cafes. The Lane Book Shop is of a more mature taste in reading in that there isn’t a huge selection of YA or Children’s books to choose from. But if you want Australian authors they have a whole section dedicated to us Aussies. This store is where you go to find a new Aussie book or if your taste soars beyond a vampire and fairy romance.

What did I buy?

The Things That Will Not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer
Belle greeting card

Millpoint Caffe Bookshop

My retirement plan is to own a book café but Millpoint Caffe fulfils that need in me for the meantime. Despite being very much out of my way, I have visited Millpoint on-and-off since celebrating my 12th birthday there. Unlike the other bookstores mentioned, this store doesn’t have a huge selection but sometimes having an abundance of choice is detrimental to the buying experience. There’s less chance for buyer’s remorse and even better you don’t have to go hunting for a cute coffee shop to read your new purchase; you’re already in one! The café itself offers a selection of cakes and slices for a little nibble as well as proper meals to fuel your reading munchies. Most of the other bookstores on this list open slightly later and close late where as Millpoint opens early and closes early. So it’s a great place to get your morning reading in with some breakfast while supporting an independent bookstore.

What did I buy?

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Razor Hurst by Justine Larbalestier

Crow Books

Nestled along the café strip of Victoria Park, you’ll find Crow Books; guaranteed to be the home of your latest but. Crow Books stocks a similar range to Planet Books with the addition of a collection of LGBTQI+ literature.  For those sweet tooths among you, you’ll be pleased to know that a Get Chunky opened up right next door so you can get your sugar fix and your word fix all at once(we promise we weren’t sponsored despite its second appearance in this article. We just really like cookies!). If you’re more of a savoury person, RoyAl’s is open across the road.

What did I buy?

The Burning by Laura Bates
Writing Picture Books by Whitford Paul
“Books are my jam” badge

Diabolik Books

Like Planet Books, Diabolik Books is your one-stop-shop for all book-related goodies with the extra surprise that it actually doubles as a record shop. Diabolik has everything and anything you could want in the form of the written word. Surrounding this treasure you’ll find an ice cream parlour, cafes (including Bites by D) and a pub. Diabolik is also known to sell local authors’ self-published books.

What did I buy?

Out of Print: Library Pride Socks

I have barely scratched the surface with all the independent bookstores in Perth. I didn’t even get to talk about our CBD’s finest or little treasure troves found out in Fremantle. Maybe this will be but the first instalment? But to you, good luck and happy hunting!

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