Where to Find: The Best Bookshops in Auckland
Long live the paperback! We love the charm and quirk of these literature treasure troves
Paradox Books offer a great selection of new books and greeting cards in a cosy sofa-and-rug atmosphere. The new owner is continuing Paradox’s wide range of children’s picture, chapter books and activities, while seekers of new fiction, non-fiction and books on New Zealand will also find something to take home.
Where: 26 Victoria Rd, Devonport Contact: (09) 446 0023 Visit: Paradoxbooks.co.nz
Tucked into Osborne St in Newmarket, Arcadia Books has a brilliantly curated selection of everything. Owner Doris Mousdale is a fountain of knowledge, and exactly what you imagine a bookstore owner should be like.
Where: 26 Osborne St, Newmarket Contact: (09) 522 5211 Visit: Arcadiabookshop.co.nz
Anyone who’s familiar with Mt Eden Village knows this well-loved little bookstore. Time Out is firmly glued to the best independent bookshops lists — and is famous for its charming window displays. The cosy space makes you feel right at home, as does its knowledgeable staff who go above and beyond, keeping their doors open from 9am-9pm every day of the week. The range is excellent and eclectic. Their upstairs room is also available for book clubs and literary events.
Where: 432 Mount Eden Rd Contact: (09) 630 3331 Visit: Timeout.co.nz
The Women’s Bookshop has long been a purveyor of fine words in Auckland since opening in 1989 in Dominion Road and moving to its current Ponsonby quarters a decade later. The selection celebrates women’s writing by supplying literary masterpieces from local and international female authors, as well as contemporary fiction with always thoughtful, handwritten reviews and a great range of cookbooks.
Where: 105 Ponsonby Rd Contact: (09) 376 4399 Visit: Womensbookshop.co.nz
A true veteran of the book scene, Jason Books is a treasure trove of covetable volumes at great prices. There's everything from must-have classics, non-fiction, biographies and New Zealand books, as well as an impressive range of fashion, art and architecture titles available which are often hard to come by. Rare books and first editions are the true specialities of this shop.
Where: 16 O'Connell St, City Contact: (09) 379 0266 Visit: Jasonbooks.co.nz
Situated in a heritage building overlooking the sea, Bookmark is exactly how you want a bookstore to be - rich with oriental rugs and the amber accents of time-loved wooden cabinets. The staff will navigate you through its more than 20,000 titles and encourage you to spend the time to find something you're really interested in. Make a day trip of it with a ferry trip over and lunch at a nearby cafe.
Where: 15 Victoria Rd, Devonport Contact: (09) 445 2960 Visit: Bookmark.co.nz
The Open Book
This charming secondhand bookstore is located in an old Victorian villa on Ponsonby Road. Look out for your clue to its location by the always witty hand-chalked sign on the pavement. There are over 22,000 books in stock, from ancient to modern, classics to poetry and fiction to art. Even better, there's a cafe out back with a sunny courtyard, a garden for reading and free wifi.
Where: 201 Ponsonby Rd Contact: (09) 360 1741 Visit: Theopenbook.co.nz
Dorothy Butler Book Shop
This much-loved specialist children’s bookshop is, in fact, the only one in the city. It’s always fun to browse the colourful and fun selection of children’s books and is a great shop for new baby present and gifts for young children. They also stock puzzles, games, toys and lovely cards.
Where: Cnr Jervois & St Marys Rd, Ponsonby Contact: (09) 376 7283 Visit: Dorothybutlerbookshop
Unity Books is a book nerd's paradise. Visit any time of the day to find it packed with city-goers rifling through the best selection in town - from classics to contemporary fiction, to obscure and interesting overseas titles. It’s one of the only places in the city open past 5.30pm, so stop by after you escape the office.
Where: 19 High St, City Contact: (09) 307 0731 Visit: Unitybooks.nz
Hard to Find Books
After 35 years located in a historic building in Onehunga Mall, this iconic book store has shifted to a Catholic convent in Newton. Despite the location change, you'll still find the space crammed floor to ceiling with precarious stacks of secondhand books. From bargain paperbacks, recent to rare collectables and once-in-a-lifetime finds, there is something for the serious collector or casual browser. This place is not for the faint-hearted.
Where: 2 St Benedicts St, Eden Terrace Contact: (09) 634 4340 Visit: Hardtofind.co.nz
This small bookstore is a cultural jewel of Herne Bay. Find a wide-ranging and well-priced selection packed tightly on narrow lane shelves. To linger here for a few minutes is to increase your IQ, and your penchant for a paperback. The shop window is the drawcard to enter — there’s always something on display to catch your eye.
Where: 230 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay Contact: (09) 376 3978 Visit: @dominion_books
Dear Reader is light, colourful and spacious – an uncommon luxury at most bookstores. Meander through rows of glossy titles from cookbooks to a covetable selection of fashion and art tomes - you're bound to find something for your coffee table. Don’t miss the comfortable couches to sink into and the added bonus of a children's corner.
Where: 436 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn Contact: (09) 360 0383 Visit: Dearreader.co.nz
HAVE WE MISSED SOMETHING?
If you know a great bookshop that you'd like us to share, let us know below.