The city of literature has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting restrictions. While we all do our bit to stop the spread, here’s how you can support Melbourne bookshops from a safe social distance – after all, what better way to get through lockdown than with a book?
Shop online or over the phone
Even though their doors are closed, Melbourne bookstores are still open for business! Visit their website or give them a call to find out the best way to get a book to you. Some, like Neighbourhood Books in Northcote, are offering a free delivery service to surrounding suburbs. Others, such as Readings (with their shops in Carlton, Hawthorn, Malvern and St Kilda) and Avenue Bookstore (Richmond, Albert Park and Elsternwick), have contactless pick-up on pre-paid orders for those within 5km. And Hill of Content in the CBD are offering free shipping right across Australia for orders over $50.
Attend an online event
Find new ways to connect with bookshops, authors and fellow booklovers. Catch a book launch through Readings’ huge digital program (and support Australian authors whose books have been published in this strange, strange time) or meet new people at the online book club offered by The Sun Bookshop. If you’re hungry for more bookish content, check out the digital events and podcasts available through The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Writers Festival and Emerging Writers’ Festival.
Give a little
Show you’re thinking of them by buying a book for someone in your life – a friend, relative, sworn enemy… books make the perfect gift. This is especially true for those from interstate looking to cheer up their Melburnian mates! Not sure what they like? Some bookstores, such as Paperback Books, are now offering gift vouchers. If you’re feeling extra generous, Brunswick Bound have launched a pay-it-forward program, providing books to people in need.
Bookshops all across the state need your support. Find a bookshop using the Australian Booksellers Association directory and #loveyourbookshop.