Whether you’re looking to spend a couple of minutes or a couple of hours flicking through pages, Canberra’s five best bookshops have a little something for everyone.

Beyond Q

44 Curtin Place, Curtin

The Beyond Q team is always looking to place the orphaned books they adopt, into the hands of loving new readers. Next time you’re looking for a book, drop into the quirky little coffee shop that sits inside the second-hand bookstore. Beyond Q’s passion for fine books is coupled with a love of fine coffee, because there’s no better way to enjoy a new book than with a cup of barista-made coffee in your hand. Beyond Q often hosts talented locals performing live music and other fun community activities.


59-61 Wollongong St, Fyshwick

Canty’s is every booklover’s dream store. Established in the early 1990s, the shop was set up in just one small room but has been expanding ever since, and now stocks over 100,000 books. The narrow, winding shelves stacked high with second-hand books, give the store a nostalgic and maze-like feel. The store was recently listed in Buzzfeed’s 17 Spectacular Bookshops In Australia To See Before You Die, along with Beyond Q.

Harry Hartog

Shop L38 Westfield Woden, Keltie Street, Woden

The two-year-old bookshop located in the Woden Plaza is already a favourite among Canberrans. While Harry Hartog’s real speciality is children’s books, you can also find a great range of cookbooks, all the newest releases and quirky gifts and cards for any age. Through its collection of unique picture books, the store aims to show children the value of the physical book, to continue this passion through the generations. Focusing on up-and-coming talent, Harry Hartog is a big supporter of new local authors.

Paperchain Bookstore

34 Franklin St, Manuka

Paperchain has been Canberra’s leading independent bookstore since the 1980s, with a large yet thoughtful selection of books. The bookstore has always been known for its outstanding customer service, attentive and knowledgeable staff, who are happy to order in any weird and wonderful titles you can’t find on the shelves. Paperchain is open late every single night of the week and often hosts literary events, such as book launches and readings from local, national and international authors.

The Book Grocer

11/1 Kennedy St, Kingston

The Book Grocer is the only store in Canberra where every book you pick up is $10 or less. The Book Grocer is an Australian, family-owned business, that specialises in sourcing discounted books of high quality and passing them onto their customers. They started buying and selling books in 2000 in Kingston ACT and later opened a store in Brunswick, Melbourne.  Book Grocers can now be found in a range of locations across Victoria, New South Wales and of course, Canberra.