I love The Paperback on Bourke. Spent a lovely, solitary hour there today. It’s a pokey little place, but there’s hardly ever a crowd. It’s a small but surprisingly wide collection of books (and not just paperbacks!) tightly stacked around a narrow labyrinth, just a few metres really from entry to exit.
Though the limits on space keep the collection small, they’re especially good on fiction and Australian non-fiction, politics, history, philosophy, poetry and travel.
One of the best things about this idiosyncratic , if slightly chaotic place, is that it feels like it’s always been there. First opened in the early 60s apparently (which means for me it always has been there), it remains a wonderfully independent and intelligent little bookstore.
The other ‘best thing’ is that the place is always open. Or it seems like it. With the iconic Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar just across the lane way, you can wander past up to 10 on weeknights and 11.30 on Fridays and Saturdays and the lights will be on and the door open. I love it.