This is not Readings’ first Hawthorn incarnation. The much-loved Melbourne bookseller has been trading out of the city’s inner east since 1976. This outpost has plenty of cosy reading nooks; a dedicated cooking, gardening and design zone; and a separate children’s shop for the area’s littlest readers.
Readings’ Hawthorn shop is housed in the old ANZ bank building, designed by Federation-era architect Christopher Cowper in 1916, and features original mosaic tiles unearthed during the build. Interior design from Kerstin Thompson Architects (the firm responsible for multiple Aesop locations) blends original structural features with warm, modern fixtures that showcase more than 25,000 titles for perusal and purchase.
It leans into its heritage vibe with a dedicated history book nook, as well as a separate area devoted to home pursuits: cooking, gardening and design. Plus there’s a separate children’s shop with plenty of stools for sitting and reading, an outlook to a courtyard garden full of native plants.
Like the other Readings locations – in Carlton, Doncaster, Malvern, St Kilda, Emporium Melbourne and the State Library – this outlet focuses on books but also offers vinyl, stationery, gift items and merch. Plus, it hosts events with local and international authors.