Saturday, 28 April 2012

Book Trail in The Hills (The Dandenong Ranges)

I found a website last week for a local book trail called, rather grandly, The Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley Book Trail. The site lists bookshops that are located at "The Hills," an outer-metropolitan area about 30–40kms South-East of Melbourne.

Finding a local Book Trail was pretty exciting for me. I have been living in the area for a few years now and I have been trying to find as many of the local bookshops as I can. Sadly, the book trail only lists four bookshops: Wormhole Books (Belgrave Heights), Vintage Cook Books (Kallista), Kallista Books (Kallista) and Rainy Day Books (The Basin). So my excitement didn't last very long.

But the good news is that there is, in fact, a few more bookshops in the area. So I thought I'd do a blog entry on the ones I know about as a kind-of finding aid for any book-collectors heading into the Hills. (It wouldn't be my first: I produced a book-trail-type list of all the bookshops in Hobart late in 1993 which, I am assured, has been maintained for almost twenty years now. I was inspired to do this after book-shopping across the UK and Europe in early 1993.)

Of course, there are other ways of finding bookshops in the Hills. This page on lists bookshops in Melbourne (local area, left).

And, as you can see, it appears to list six from the area. But since the listing is of book-dealers, not book-shops, it includes P.O. Box entities (like Sad Paradise Books) and book binders.

So, only two of the six items on the booksandcollectibles "trail" are shops, and they are both on the Book Trail website.

Doing a Google Maps search locates quite a few more "bookshops" though, again, this includes mostly new bookshops (like Belgrave Book Barn), book publishers and distributors etc.

Although this search locates three genuine shops, only one is not on the book trail: Book Inn‎ (Ferntree Gully).

Missing from the trail, booksandcollectibles list and Google search is "Through the Looking Glass SecondHand BookShop" (Belgrave) and, no doubt, others. So, obviously none of the online lists are complete and the list below can only be a start: I will add others to it as I find them (and include obits of those that have passed away).

The Hills Book Trail

If you are heading east along the Burwood Highway you pass Ferntree Gully, then you head under the railway line at Upper Ferntree Gully and have a choice of turning left or right. Left takes you north-east via Sassafras to Olinda; right takes you via Belgrave to Kallista. I have listed the shops in the order you'd encounter them heading up the hills:

Book Inn‎ (Ferntree Gully: 17 Alpine St.—which is a few turns off the Burwood Hightway): a medium-sized paperback book exchange.

Then, if you turn right

Through the Looking Glass (Belgrave: 1669 Burwood Hwy): a small-sized general second-hand bookshop.

Wormhole Books (Belgrave Heights: Shop 4, 60–68 Colby Drive—which is off the main road): a medium-sized second-hand bookshop, with a lot of sci-fi and fantasy.

Vintage Cook Books (Kallista: 79 Monbulk Rd): a quite small second-hand bookshop specialising in cook books.

Kallista Books (Kallista: 1 Tom Roberts Rd—which one turns off Monbulk Rd): a medium-sized general second-hand bookshop.

Or, if you turn left

Rainy Day Books (The Basin: 1301 Mountain Hwy): a medium-sized general second-hand bookshop.

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