Born in Noosaville on the Sunshine coast, Embiggen Books has now settled down south in Melbourne, across from the Wheeler Centre.
Run by ex-graphic designer Warren Bonnet and his partner Kirsty Bruce, Embiggen is a dimly lit den of dark wood, beautifully stocked cabinets and tall shelves made reachable by antiquarian ladders on tracks. A wealth of knowledge, Bonnet is familiar with nearly every book in the store, which covers science, art, design, economics, politics, philosophy, history, poetry, plays and fiction.
Unusually, just one corner is devoted to fiction, as Embiggen holds the largest science collection in the country and the fourth largest in the world. Embiggen takes itself seriously, replacing loud bestseller stockpiles with carefully chosen volumes and thoughtful displays. This conscientiousness is mirrored by the store’s made-up name, which originally came from Gulliver’s Travels, was repeated in The Simpsons, adopted in a physics paper and is now cemented in the Oxford Dictionary.