Sunday, November 25, 2007


Being in Sydney yesterday, I hopped on a train to Town Hall Station and walked to Galleries Victoria to visit the biggest bookshop in Sydney; Books Kinokuniya. This plac is massive. Looking out through a window, one sees what seems to be another bookshop a hundred metres away across the gallery, only to find it is more of the same one. Books Kinokuniya has vast departments for categories of books lucky to merit a quarter shelf in most shops. There are catalogue kiosks scattered throughout, and also Help Desks. These can be necessary as the kiosks tell you how many copies of a book are stocked, and in which department, but not their position on the multiple shelves. For example, having gone through about ten shelves of picturebooks (and that's spine-outwards, with just two or three copies maximum of each), a Help Desk person walked to the Character Books shelves. Evidently Books Kinokuniya calls Australian picture books "character books".

The shop has a cafe attached, so the punchdrunk bookbuyer can stay in there for hours at a time, refuelling at intervals...

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Satima Flavell said...

MM - I like those sloping shelves! I do find it scary with these big bookstores that a lot of the money they make goes off-shore. (Borders is probably the prime example.) I am amazed that here in Mount Gambier, SthOz, (pop.abt 25,000) we still have a smallish, completely privately-owned book shop as well as an A&R and several second-hand book shops. I wonder how much longer the few remaining smnall operators will be able to hold out against the big guys?

Sallyo said...

We have independent bookshops in our area, too.