A bookshop that’s a ‘Barbie-free zone’


This Saturday (11 August) is National Bookshop Day, a day to celebrate bookshops’ important place in our communities. What would we do without them?!

To celebrate, we’re focusing this week on some of the bookshops local to Wilkins Farago’s own community in Melbourne’s inner south.

Today, we’re visiting Readings St Kilda. Situated in trendy beachside Acland Street at the southern end of the Number 96 tram route, Readings St Kilda (formerly Cosmos) is one of six Readings outlets across Melbourne, and is a spacious browsers’ paradise, especially if you find yourself in St Kilda in the evening (it closes at 10pm). This month, the Readings group chose our new title Empty Fridge as its Kids Book of the Month.

Kids’ storytime at Readings St Kilda is on every Thursdays at 10.30am.

Readings St Kilda has a great children’s book section, looked after by children’s and young adult books specialist, Angela Crocombe. We asked Angela to explain her approach to kids books:

I have a display table which I like to rotate regularly with new, gorgeous picture books and interesting non-fiction titles. I like to keep quirky, unusual books prominently displayed and keep any branded product to a minimum throughout the store. Readings is definitely a Barbie-free zone!

Good design and good storytelling are paramount. I keep a strong range of classics, which are always popular, as well as a section of indigenous stories. We have quite a few tourists and people sending gifts overseas, so it’s important to have a range of home-grown titles available. Changing stock on display regularly is also necessary to keep it looking fresh.

Storytime [Thursday mornings] is my favourite 30 minutes of the working week. I like to begin with a bit of juggling to get everyone’s attention focused on me.  I love getting my audience interacting with the stories and see which ones they engage with the most. It’s a good lesson in what works. An adult may love a story for very different reasons than a kid and, while there are some great picture books for adults, if a story doesn’t work on its intended audience then it’s not a good book.

You’ll find plenty of Wilkins Farago books at Readings St Kilda, so why not drop by for Thursday morning storytime, or pay them a visit this Saturday for National Bookshop Day? If you can’t make it into the shop, they have a great online bookstore too.

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