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Sydney’s Best Bookstores

Loose yourself in these bookstores that have everything that literature lovers crave – including coffee and wine.

As we prepare to trade in seemingly-endless summer beach days for cosy nights curled up on the couch with a good read, it’s time to revisit (and possibly re-stack) the bookshelf. To help revive your novel collection for winter nights well-spent, we’ve curated a list of the best book curators in Sydney. Consider it the ultimate curation and your precious time saved for those nights in with a good book.


One of the biggest stores in the city, Kinokuniya has hundreds of thousands of books in multiple languages. Not the place you visit to surprise yourself with a random find, but a go-to store when you have a chosen book in mind. There’s a café for those wanting to read in store with a coffee, but traffic is busy on both weekdays and weekends.

Level 2, The Galeries, 500 George Street, Sydney

Gertrude & Alice

Moments from Bondi Beach, this hidden gem is just a quick stroll from the water and a post-swim trip never grows old. The store, which sells both second-hand and brand new books, is curated to perfection with bestsellers easy to find and an abundant selection of spiritual and philosophical literature. The store, which doubles as a café, lends itself to a relaxed peruse which can end with a coffee or wine (and long read). The workers love their books as much as their coffee, so you’ll always find a helping hand.

1/46 Hall Street, Bondi Beach

Berkelouw Books

Sitting beside the Verona Cinemas, Berkelouw Books’ flagship store in Paddington is the perfect Sunday afternoon stop off before catching an evening movie. The three-storey building showcases a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction literature as well as trinkets and an array of coffee tables books. But the real hidden gem lies 100 kilometres away in the Southern Highlands. The Berkelouw Book Barn in Berrima is the Berkelouw family’s winery and a new escape for book and wine lovers alike. Inside the converted barn, the tables are intimately set between bookshelves and scattered outside on the terrace. It makes for a perfect date location, with a roaring open fire in winter and the restaurant offering wood-fired pizzas to accompany the extensive wine range.

Paddington, Berrima, Balgowlah, Cronulla, Eumundi, Hornsby, Leichhardt, Mona Vale, Rose Bay

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

No one is disappointed when brunch turns into a novel adventure and Ampersand is the place where this evolution regularly occurs. Housed inside a two-story cafe which sprawls onto an open terrace, Ampersand serves exceptional coffee and breakfast dishes that won’t disappoint (the porridge with poached pear, pistachio and coconut crumble comes highly recommended). Lunch is also notable and the book selection is varied with the opportunity to find a good read - a chance always worth taking.

78 Oxford Street, Paddington

Sappho Books, Café and Wine Bar

Fans of literature can’t get enough of this inner-city gem. Sappho Books has mastered the book / coffee and book / wine combo. A general second-hand bookstore on Glebe’s busy strip, you can pick up an out of print or hard to find book before heading through to the courtyard café that transforms into a bar come nightfall. Music lovers are also well-catered for here with Da Capo Music available upstairs and live music events scheduled throughout the year. Monthly poetry nights are popular for established and emerging poets.

51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Better Read Than Dead

It is too easy to linger way longer than you should in this bookstore. Better Read Than Dead is a Newtown institution with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lined with a curated collection of books. The staff are well-versed and encourage a good chat about your latest read and regular author events are held throughout the year. The best part is, they are open late every night of the week – so browse to your hearts content.

265 King Street, Newtown