Independent book retailer Readings was founded in 1969 and has seven locations: Carlton, Carlton (Kids), Doncaster, St Kilda, Malvern, Hawthorn and at the State Library on Russell Street. With it local author events, charitable foundation and knowledgeable service, the chain plays a vital role in supporting Australian literature.
Now it’s announced an eighth store, due to open in early December on the first floor at Emporium Melbourne, near Aesop and Mecca. Like its suburban counterparts, it’ll stock the best fiction and non-fiction, including cookbooks, biographies, coffee table titles and more.
“We’ve always thought the city could support another store, because there used to be quite a number of big bookstores in the city,” says operations manager Joe Rubbo. “We’re betting on the city coming back.”
The well-regarded Kerstin Thompson Architects is leading the remodel of the 300-square-metre tenancy, which will encourage visitors to linger and enjoy the offline shopping experience.
“We’re trying to play to our strengths and create a beautiful physical space for people to be in, and want to come and visit,” Rubbo says. “There’s going to be more seating in this store. It looks out onto Little Bourke Street, and it’s got these beautiful art deco windows and lots of natural light.”
Readings Emporium will open on level 1 in December 2021.