Every time a birthday party invitation comes home in the school bag, I say, "YES! An excuse to visit a bookshop!"
My 5 year old groans, "Mum, why do we always get books for my friends?"
Cue the little lecture about how books are the best, they are full of possibility, are available in countless shapes, sizes and topics. They inspire. They educate. They keep you company when you're pretending to be asleep...
At this point she rolls her eyes. But secretly, I know she is excited to visit the bookshop too.
The hardest part about this whole birthday-book-buying process is choosing which bookshop to visit. And I usually decide based on where I'm going that day - here's my short list of Perth's best bookshops (in absolutely no order of preference!).
One thing I've noticed over the years is they always have really great music playing at New Edition! An overflowing kids book section is always a winner with my children. Plus the kind staff always give out stickers (kid currency) and excellent book recommendations.
After shopping at New Edition once, Tim Winton helped me retrieve a bottle my kid threw out of the car onto the pavement, true story.
41 High St, Fremantle
Located in Maylands/Gaylands, Rabble has a bright, unmissable mural painted on the front facade by Whadjuk/Balladong Nyoongar & Eastern Arrernte artist J.D. Penangke. Rabble is a community-focused, inclusive safe space with has a great kids area, a Noongar/First Nations section, plus HEAPS of cards, puzzles and games. Their book subscription service just started up - choose from Picture Book, Queer and First Nations subscriptions.
U2/46 Eighth Ave, Maylands
Boffins is the below-street-level bookshop in the Perth CBD. We love the long escalator entrance (there's also a lift for accessibility). Going underground always feels like fun! Boffins have a really extensive range of non-fiction, which is usually my go-to zone when I visit. I especially dig the science/natural history area. Loads of field guides! You can also shop online with Boffins.
88 William St, Perth
A relatively new bookshop to open in Mosman Park, Open Book has the most magnificent "Octopuses Garden" children's book zone out the back, a leafy courtyard in the middle, and wall-to-ceiling bookshelves in the front. I've noticed Open Book are scheduling lots of book events, story time, launches and book club hosting, too.
124 Wellington Street, Mosman Park
Have I missed a good bookshop? Please let me know!
Once you've been out bookshopping, you can pick up a bookmark from our new Australian flora and fauna recycled paper bookmark range: