This list is being regularly updated, so if you know of a store delivering or doing free shipping, please contact us here. Some details may have changed since publication.
There’s a knock at my door, and by the time I open it there’s nobody there – but there’s a brown paper package waiting for me. The delivery person waves to me from the gate, smiles, then hops back on her bike.
Book delivery – mostly from small, neighbourhood stores – is just one of the new services that’s popped up during the coronavirus crisis. So if you’re staying in but still want to support local businesses (and authors), you can. Even better: some are offering same-day service – perfect for whatever literary emergencies might pop up.
My delivery came from The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville. In a normal week the store would host story-time sessions for children, author events, book clubs and launches – but all of this has been cancelled. It’s a similar story at bookshops across Australia.
Want to give some extra love to the local literary community? Order a book by an Aussie author, or something published by a small Australian publisher. Another tip: some stores are also selling activity books and puzzles to keep little isolators entertained.
• Avenue Bookstore in Richmond, Albert Park and Elsternwick. Orders of $30 or more placed before 3pm will be delivered free that day (as long as the books are in stock). Areas covered include Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, East Melbourne, Richmond, Burnley, Hawthorn, South Yarra, Toorak, Prahran, St Kilda, St Kilda East, Caulfield, Elwood, Elsternwick, Brighton, and Ormond. If your suburb isn’t included, call to see if they’ll deliver to you. More information here.
• Avoca Hill Bookstore in South Yarra. Free next-day local delivery when you spend more than $20 on in-stock books.
• Beaumaris Books in Beaumaris. In addition to offering over-the-phone recommendations and free gift-wrapping, this store is doing free delivery to Beaumaris, Black Rock, Cheltenham, Mentone, Parkdale, Mordialloc, Highett, Hampton and Sandringham. Order by calling 0422 522 007.
• Benn’s Books in Bentleigh. The family-run store is delivering free to Bentleigh, East Bentleigh, McKinnon, Moorabbin and Murrumbeena. Order by calling (03) 9557 3969, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Instagram DM.
• Book and Paper in Williamstown. Arrange free delivery it he Williamstown area by texting 0407 310 889 or emailing email@example.com.
• The Book Bird in Geelong. Staff are delivering by bike in Geelong, Geelong West, North Geelong, Newtown, Manifold Heights, Rippleside, Hamlin Heights, Herne Hill, Bell Post Hill, and Bell Park. Order via Instagram, by calling (03) 5224 1438 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Books for Cooks at Queen Victoria Market. This shop at the market buys and sells new and old books about food, wine and the culinary arts. Buy online for free next-day local delivery.
• The Bookshop at Queenscliff in Queenscliff. Delivering to anyone with a 3225 postcode. Call (03) 5258 4496 or email email@example.com to order.
• Brotherhood Books, online only. This not-for-profit second-hand bookshop (run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence) is offering free delivery Australia-wide when you buy three or more books. Order online.
• Brunswick Bound in Brunswick. Now making deliveries to Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West, North Carlton, North Fitzroy, Coburg, Moonee Ponds and Essendon. Order online or call (03) 9381 4019. The store has also banded together with wine service The Local Drop and cheese shop Harper & Blohm for the ultimate night-in combo pack. More information here.
• The Brunswick Street Bookstore in Fitzroy. Free next-day local delivery when you spend more than $20 on in-stock books.
• Coventry Bookstore in South Melbourne. Free local delivery for all orders over $20; next-day delivery for all items as long as they’re in stock. Order online.
• Escape Hatch Books in Kew East. This specialist children's bookstore is offering free delivery to multiple surrounding suburbs within 24 hours. Order online and select the "free local delivery" option at the checkout.
• Happy Valley in Collingwood. This shop sells books, cookbooks, design books, art, gifts, records and more, and right now the team is doing free home delivery (by foot) to those in the Collingwood, Fitzroy, Clifton Hill and Carlton North areas. Order online or call (03) 9077 8509. More details on Instagram and online.
• Hares & Hyenas in Fitzroy. This queer and intersectional bookshop, cafe and performance venue is offering a Books-on-Bikes local delivery service for those staying in their homes or who cannot afford postage. For more information or to place an order, call (03) 9495 6589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Hill of Content in Melbourne. The famous Bourke Street bookshop is offering free delivery for orders over $50. Order online.
• Eltham Bookshop in Eltham. Delivering to all addresses in the extended neighbourhood. Order by calling (03) 9439 8700 or emailing email@example.com.
• Fairfield Books in Fairfield. Delivering free to the local area. You can also arrange a pick-up from the store – staff will drop your order into your car window. Call (03) 9017 4748 to place your order.
• Farrell’s Bookshop in Mornington. Get in touch by calling (03) 5975 5034 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for free local delivery.
• The Grumpy Swimmer in Elwood. Offering free delivery to Elwood and surrounding suburbs. Order by calling (03) 9525 7488 or emailing email@example.com.
• The Leaf Bookshop in Ashburton. Free deliveries within a five-kilometre radius of the shop. Call (03) 9885 1900 to place your order.
• The Little Bookroom in Carlton North. Free deliveries to Carlton North, Carlton, Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Princes Hill, Clifton Hill, Brunswick, Northcote and Coburg. Order online and select “free local delivery” at checkout.
• My Bookshop in Hawksburn. Free delivery within a three-kilometre radius of the shop. Call (03) 9824 2990 to arrange.
• Neighbourhood Books in Northcote. Free delivery to Northcote, Thornbury, Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield, Carlton North, Carlton, Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Princes Hill, Clifton Hill and Brunswick daily. Select “free local delivery” when you order online.
• New Leaves in Woodend. Free delivery in the Macedon Ranges area. To order, call (03) 5427 4276 and they will scoot, bike or drive your books to you.
• Readings in Carlton, Doncaster, Hawthorn, St Kilda and Malvern. The Melbourne institution has a flat delivery fee of $5 but is offering free delivery Australia-wide when you spend $150, and free local delivery for orders of more than $60. The team has created a dedicated map of the suburbs included. Order online and write “local” and your suburb in the comment field at checkout.
• The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville. Attached to the historic Sun Theatre, this store is doing free same-day deliveries by bike to customers in Yarraville, Seddon and Kingsville, and next-day deliveries by car to Spotswood and Newport. Call (03) 9689 0661 to order.
• Thesaurus Books in Brighton. Free home delivery to Brighton, Brighton East, Hampton and Bentleigh. Call (03) 9591 0811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
• Turn The Page in Cowes. This Phillip Island bookshop is delivering locally. To arrange delivery, call (03) 5952 1444.
• North Melbourne Books in North Melbourne. Now offering free home delivery to North and West Melbourne. Call the shop on (03) 9041 4216 or email email@example.com.
• Torquay Books in Torquay. Offering free local delivery to those living nearby. Order online and choose "pickup" for delivery later that day. Alternatively you can call them on (03) 5261 2311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and pay over the phone. There are more instructions on its Instagram.