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Where to buy inexpensive books and textbooks around Melbourne and online

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Wed Dec 31 2014


TRUE book purists not only love to collect and read good novels but also love a good bargain! Trinity College Foundation Studies students Jefferson Villacis and Charlene Chew find where avid readers can shop for books on the cheap!

In a world dominated by the online space, there’s something quite charming about the actual effect of reading a book that’s physically in your hands. That’s a feeling that no amount of cold glow from a screen in this digital age can replace!

Be it the crinkle you make upon opening a brand new book for the first time or the musty old smell that lingers on an old one, true book lovers are always on the lookout for good, cheap places to get their fix.

Online Retailers

Just because people have migrated to reading on their screens rather than off the page, doesn’t mean that all technology is evil! There are plenty of great retailers online who stock and supply cheap reads and deliver them to your door step! Spend hours browsing for new books at our recommended websites:


At Books and Gifts Direct, you’ll be able to find books on sale for up to 70 percent off. They even do free shipping!

Find the perfect book for you and know that orders and payments are only made as soon as your book arrives in your hands. If it doesn’t, don’t stress – the site offers guaranteed refunds!

Additionally, a small percentage of your purchase goes to charity – how’s that for good will?


The Book Depository is hugely popular and a fantastic online book retailer.

Here, you will be able to find a large variety of books, ranging from sci-fi and manga, to the best in Australian literature. Most of these books sell at discounted prices and The Book Depository also gives customers the opportunity to track their orders. Shipping with them is also free!

The only downside to The Book Depository however is that their bargains mostly apply to older titles. New releases are not generally afforded the same luxury and you likely won’t get them for much cheaper than what they sell for in store.

Keep in mind that they’re based in the United Kingdom and shipping does take some time. If you’re not patient, it mightn’t be for you.


Booko is an interesting service that helps you find the best offers on a whole range of books (depending on what you type into their search bar) and compares your search across several different sites including eBay, Amazon, The Book Depository, Readings and Angus and Robertson.

Booko also finds deals on secondhand books, should you prefer something with a bit more wear.


For students looking for new textbooks, refer toStudent VIP – an online retailer where you can buy second hand books from students at different universities in Australia.

In fact, if you’ve got books of your own you’d like to get rid of, feel free to sell them here too!

And let’s be honest, these days having a second-hand textbook is probably far more beneficial than using a new one that you’re only likely to look at once or twice the entire school year!

The service is absolutely free for people to sign up to. Using Student VIP also grants users access to discounts at other stores.

In-Store Retailers

If you prefer buying your books in person,we’ve compiled a list of friendly retailers who all yield some benefit towards students and the general public.

Located on the ground floor of Collins234 Boutique Place is Dymocks, a huge bookshop with a wide assortment of books by different authors and publishers.

When we went down to visit the store, we found that one book came in nearly five different editions so if you’re a collector or you prefer the look of one edition over another, you’re certainly not starved for choice!

If you become a member, you’re also rewarded points for every dollar you spend. Five points is awarded for every dollar you spend and if you reach 100 points, Dymocks will give you a dollar off on your next book. Accumulate enough points and you’ll be able to use all of them on discounted books!

Prefer something independent? The Paperback Bookshop might just be your cup of tea instead.

Stocking a variety of new and secondhand books, the prices you’ll find at this store at just the same as any other store in Melbourne.

However, what sets The Paperback Bookshop apart is that when you buy a book from them, you’ll be given a book card with 12 empty spaces. Fill these spaces with every book you buy and you’ll get a $25 book absolutely free!

Photo: Hieu Chau

Photo: Hieu Chau

The Book Grocer is arguably the most wallet-friendly book store to shop at in our list of in-store retailers.

All their books are advertised as being sold at just $10! The Book Grocer also have special promotions – one example being that if you purchase six books, you’ll only have to pay $50 instead.

That said, there is a catch – not all their stores will stock what you’re looking for so it’s advised that you check in with them via their website before you head on down to your local Book Grocer shop. Additionally, being that this franchise is relatively small with small site locations, they don’t have as much of a wide breadth of writers and books as other stores.

Near Melbourne Central and QV is the Metropolis Bookshop which is hidden in Curtin House (where the Rooftop Bar/Cinema is located) .

The store is quite a niche one and caters to those with specific needs (particularly concerning areas of the arts, design and fashion).

Once again, the prices here are consistent with everything else that’s been mentioned and the quality of their books are excellent.

One benefit that students can reap from this store is to simply present their student card when purchasing to receive a 10 percent discount.

Readings Bargains is a small bookstore located in Lygon Court. This smaller store shouldn’t be confused with the Readings store that’s right across the road.

Located opposite Brunetti and next to Cinema Nova’s box office, this is another solid alternative for book lovers searching for cheap reads.

And given the Brunetti cafe is right across from it, you’ll be able to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and treat yourself to a slice of cake while reading your book.