A classic bookshop with a twist of nostalgia, Scorpio Books has a homely feel. There are well-loved leather sofas, comfy armchairs, indoor plants, and big windows that look out onto the courtyard in front.
The selection is mostly general interest, having expanded from the store's initial lean towards new-age titles (Scorpio is, after all, one of the astrological signs). Large-format books are displayed on coffee tables and chests, and rotating stands have an ever-changing selection of locally made cards and stationery.
Located in the heart of Christchurch’s city centre, Scorpio was shaken out of the space it had been in for decades when the 2011 earthquake hit. It opened temporarily in a container and moved into its current residence in 2015. It’s in the Five Lanes precinct that includes coffee shops, fashion boutiques – plus, Scorpio’s dedicated children's bookshop, Telling Tales.
Telling Tales opened in 2021 and is a haven for children’s literature. There are learning games, classics, Kiwi picture books and new releases. Poster-sized Beatrix Potter illustrations sit charmingly above the shelves, and the whimsical focal point is a large “tree” with paper leaves that form a canopy over the space.