Melbourne City Reads is a new initiative aimed at bolstering struggling inner-city bookstores
03.08.2021

Melbourne City Reads is a new initiative aimed at bolstering struggling inner-city bookstores

The Paperbook Bookshop - photo via Visit Victoria
Words by Kate Streader

The initiative looks to entice readers to visit bookstores in the CBD.

Melbourne businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially those in the CBD. Among them, the city’s bookstores have struggled due to the dramatic drop in foot traffic over the past 18 months.

To attract book lovers to their stores, eight CBD bookshops have come together to launch a new initiative dubbed Melbourne City Reads.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne City Reads is supported by the City of Melbourne’s City Reactivation Events Grants program
  • The initiative will highlight four local authors over four months
  • The Wheeler Centre will host free monthly In Conversation events as part of the initiative

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

The brainchild of Dymocks Collins Street, Hill of Content Bookshop, Mary Martin Queen Victoria Market, Mary Martin Southbank, North Melbourne Books, Paperback Bookshop, Readings Carlton and Readings State Library, the initiative will highlight a different book by a local author each month.

The chosen title will be available at a special discounted price across the eight bookshops and each author will discuss their work at a free In Conversation event at The Wheeler Centre each month.

The first book to be featured for Melbourne City Reads is Allee Richards’ Small Joys of Real Life, with titles from Miles Allinson, Emily Bitto and Maxine Beneba Clarke to follow over the coming months.

Richards will join ABC Radio host Jacinta Parsons to talk about her debut novel, which has been described as a 21st century Monkey Grip, on Wednesday September 8.

Melbourne City Reads is supported by the City of Melbourne through its City Reactivation Event Grants program, as well as the Victorian Government, Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Writers Festivals and ABC Radio Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s bookshops are just as much a part of our culture as our laneways and restaurants,” said the Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“They offer endless entertainment and knowledge while shining a light on Melburnian writers and stories set in our marvellous city. We’re proud to support the Melbourne City Reads initiative to bring back the buzz – and encourage everyone to celebrate their inner bookworm,” she added.

Find out more about Melbourne City Reads via The Wheeler Centre website