Friday, 26 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #21: Collins Bookshop, Adelaide

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about:

Collins Booksellers, Adelaide

I spoke to Tarran, who is their assistant manager. 

Hi Tarran! Where can we find you?

You can find us at Castle Plaza Shopping Centre in the best city in Australia, Adelaide.

Describe your bookshop in three words.

Friendly, Quirky, Family-Orientated

What’s going to catch our eye as soon as we walk through the door?

Great smiles, Event Posters and Book Pyramid.

What’s the best event you’ve ever done?

There have been so many but I think this there are three that really stand out. One was Hannah Kent, author of ‘Burial Rites’ we had so many people lined up to meet Hannah it was amazing. The second one was Matthew Reilly with his book ‘Tournament’ we had to hire a venue to fit all the people that wanted to see him speak. The third was last year’s National Bookshop Day, this is an all day event we have in Australia to celebrate the local authors. We had a special guest come and boy did it get busy. Our special guest was Peppa Pig and they had to wall off the supermarket and surrounding stores because the mall was filled with kids.

And your best customer moment?

My best customer moment is also one of the hardest because I have to repeat it. There are customers that come into the store that have told me that they have loved every book I have recommended to them and they say they will only come to me for their books now.

Recommend a book you’ve been loving recently.

One of the books I have really liked is by an British/Australian author Alan Baxter. It is a dark urban fantasy involving Kung Fu, malevolent grimoires and the end of the world, perhaps. It is very well written and a fast paced novel. Explores Australia, Britain, Rome and Alaska and has proven to me that not all urban fantasy is the same stuff with different names.

Why did you become a bookseller?

I have loved anything to do with books since I was four. I could think of nothing other than writing that I would love to do than work in the bookstore. Books are portals into other worlds and if I can help people feel the love for the humble but magnificent book then my job is done.

Why are you still a bookseller?

I have been a bookseller for 14 years now and I still love my job. I love the feel of books and I am addicted to the smell of books. There is nothing better than walking into the store after it’s been closed for the night and breathing in the scent of the store. I like finding books new homes and I love the people we meet and the interesting stories they tell.

If you could open a bookshop anywhere else in the world, where would you open it and why?
I will have to be boring and say Adelaide. There are too few bookshops left and I would love to open one down in the south of Adelaide. We are the festival city and we love good music, good food/wine and most of all great reads.

Sum up what books and bookshops mean to you in one sentence.

Books and bookshops are one of the best means to educate yourself and whether is through fiction or non-fiction, a good bookshop will inspire the reader to go further and imagine higher – Nothing is impossible.


Details of The Bookshop Book are 
here. You can pre-order signed copies (shipping worldwide) here.


  1. That bookshop is just down the road from me and I visit it whenever I am in that shopping centre. It's really nice - but I like Mostly Books at Mitcham Shopping Centre too! (That's my local Indie and I love it.)

  2. Great to see an Australian bookshop featured :-)