Adelaide is indeed a small, jam-packed city with a lot to offer. High quality food, music and art are all at our fingertips. However, some Radelaideans may not be aware of the incredible second-hand bookstores hidden in and around the city. TEO Magazine visited three bookstores, all offering something unique, but sharing a common factor of old and rare.
O’Connell’s Bookshop – 19 Bank Street (14b Station Arcade)
Established in 1957, O’Connell’s Bookshop is Adelaide’s oldest and largest second-hand and antiquarian bookstore. Having undergone multiple changes over the years, the store is now located just off Hindley Street in Station Arcade and is currently owned by Ben O’Connell.
The immaculately organised store is abundant with a variety of old books and comics. With ceiling-high shelves lining the walls and jazz music filling the room, book shopping has never felt more carefree. The books’ ages are certainly evident through the faded pages and unique hard covers but their decades-old lifespan hasn’t compromised their condition.
Drop in for a browse and be sure to say hello to Oscar the whippet – the store dog!
Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers – 196 North Terrace (store visited) and 32 Grote Street
Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers can be found in two locations, one on North Terrace and the other down Grote Street, opposite the Central Market.
If you’re looking for rare non-fiction books or selected essays, manuscripts or government material, then you should definitely visit this fine bookstore. Unlike O’Connell’s, the vibe at Treloar’s is far more low-key, much like a classical library. The paintings of ships at sea and vintage furniture perfectly complement the classical theme.
Streetlight – Shop 2/15 Vaughan Place
Neighbouring The Elephant pub down Vaughan Place, Streetlight is constantly buzzing and certainly seems to be the most popular of the three visited stores. It’s a comfortable little nook, boasting a funky upbeat style and offers more than just books.
Spread over two levels, Streetlight also sells art prints, CDs, records, DVDs, cards, shoes and clothing. Though the store has great variety, if you’re specifically searching for books, Streetlight may be a bit limiting.
Words: Carina Stathis
Photos: Sam Dougherty