There’s nothing more satisfying than browsing the shelves of a bookstore. Old classics, new releases, rare literary finds – whatever takes your fancy, Auckland is the place to embark on your next reading adventure. Bookmark this guide of the 8 best shops for literature aficionados in New Zealand’s largest city.
This cozy independent bookstore, nestled within the urban throes of Auckland’s High Street, is filled to the brim with new releases, classical marvels, and obscure little gems. Unity Books has been unleashing bookish Aucklanders’ imaginations since 1989, and their flagship Wellington store has been around for much longer. It is definitely one of those shops worth spending an hour browsing through, as its collection is comprehensive and diverse.
Formerly known as Classics and Suchlike, The Open Book is a beautifully refurbished second-hand bookshop at the heart of Ponsonby. The property was recently bought by Hayden Glass and Julie Fry, who are passionate about sustaining those bookish traditions that we cherish the most. A Victorian-style house is the venue of choice for this establishment, which is lined with paper lanterns on the outside, and adorned with literary wonders on the inside.
This is your inner-city sanctuary for all kinds of rare finds, including out-of-print editions. Jason Books has been making literary history since 1969, and continues to house a dedicated literary collection from all parts of the world. New books arrive on a daily basis, and their titles span across various categories. The major ones include New Zealand, Maori, Pacific, Literature and Arts.
If you’re keen to explore further afield, make sure to stop by this Onehunga institution. Hard to Find Books boasts an incredible showcase of more than 300,000 book titles, which includes classic first editions, antiquarian treasures, old-time hardbacks, collectors’ items and books that have simply disappeared from the literary limelight. If you’re in the mood for something more contemporary, the bookstore also houses a nice selection of second-hand paperbacks.
The Women’s Bookshop has been making its mark in Auckland’s independent bookstore industry for more than 25 years. After 10 years residing in Dominion Road, the store moved to its current Ponsonby quarters. The bookshop is still going strong to this day, handing out an ever-growing collection of literary masterpieces from New Zealand and international women authors.
This Mount Eden shop is well-established and well loved. In fact, Time Out even won the highly-coveted Bookseller of The Year accolade at the 2016 New Zealand Book Trade Industry Awards. Time Out’s reputation comes from its eclectic titles, self-published works, and compelling shelf displays. They’ve been among the community since 1989, and their upstairs area hosts writing groups and book clubs at no cost.
Devonport is as much a place of historic beauty as it is home to literary marvels. The lovely Bookmark Secondhand Books welcomes its patrons with an extensive range of paperbacks, children’s books, collectible fiction, antiquaries, and specialist non-fiction subjects like history, aviation, and art. Not only is this the place to relish more than 20,000 titles, the bookshop’s library-like interiors are bound to make anyone feel right at home.
Everyone loves a good book recommendation, right? Well, Dear Reader takes this concept to an independent retail wavelength. Their hand-picked curation of classic and contemporary titles have stemmed from a desire to support books that they feel passionate about, as well as catering to popular customer requests. This formula makes Dear Reader the perfect place for unearthing different works, fiction or otherwise, that you might not have thought about previously.