Holding its ground at the quiet end of Bourke Street since the early 1960s, The Paperback Bookshop is a true Melbourne mainstay. Originally opened to stock paperback editions of rare Australian and international publications, the store has broadened its brief and now stocks a vast range of titles and formats, spanning anything from fiction, classics, travel and art.

The shop is tiny and near silent, with a maze of shelves maximising what little space is available, the floor peppered with piles of books unable to fit on a shelf or table. The collection at Paperback is expansive, with an effort to stock an extensive range of Australian fiction and non-fiction new and not-so-new releases. With over five different ‘classics’ collections, you can feel pretty certain that the seminal text you’re after is at Paperback.

This is a bookstore that shirks the trend of stocking CDs and DVDs. That said, you will find vintage wrapping paper, cutesy cards and empty journals at Paperback. With Pellegrini’s next door, Von Haus out the back, Sarah Scout upstairs and the Palace Theatre just a few strides away, Paperback exploits this potential with late opening hours for pre-show, pre-drink or post-dessert browsing.