There’s so much charisma at Grand Days Books and Records that owners Tamara Kennedy and Tom Hespe are often asked if they live there. They bought the shop in 2013 when it was then known as Bugden’s books – a longstanding and well-loved Woolloomooloo bookseller. Since then, Kennedy and Hespe have injected their own colour and personality into the store., across the bookshelves, record crates and clothing racks brimming with curated vintage treasures. And, after receiving a performance-ready grant from the City of Sydney in mid-2020, they gave the store a grand makeover. Walls have come down, new floors and a stage are in, transforming the shop into a mixed-use space by night with an “anything goes” ethos. Live music, author events, Ayurvedic long-table dinners and astrology readings are all on the cards here.
By day though, Grand Days remains a shop for quality second-hand books with a focus on art, design and fashion. There’s also a smattering of excellent non-fiction books, and a good spread of Australian and international authors in the literature section.