Well I like most bookshops including those of the big chainstores which here in Australia (at least on the east coast) are Dymocks & Angus and Robertsons, however I really enjoy in discovering bookshops like these owned by independent owners & offer a really interesting selection of serious reading items as well as the mainstream books.
It reminds me a bit of Ariel Bookshop in Sydney in that respect, but I don't like to get too bogged down with this word "serious" as it could seem to be boring to people.
I discovered this bookshop when I was in St Kilda for the Melbourne VT meet in honour of my good mate from San Francisco, mesoblonda. We were staying at the Marque Hotel which is near the bottom (Bay) end of Fitzroy Street just near the corner of Acland Street & I went for a wander back up the hill to check out what was along here.
This place was a real good find & it's open every day until late, just how I like a bookshop!
What to buy: I purchased 3 books from Chronicles bookshop:
Behind the Moon by Hsu-Ming Teo, an Aussie book which I really enjoyed reading as I could relate to much of what was written in the book from a couple of the characters different viewpoints. It's a story about 3 childhood friends, 2 boys & 1 girl, all sort of outcasts & how they grow up together, drift apart due to a couple of signficant issues & then a tragedy involving one of them brings them & their families back together again. Shows some of the racsim inherent in Australian society through the 60's, 70's & into the 80's.
I also bought another Aussie book - Welcome Stranger - which I haven't read yet and lastly a book called Juliet of the Spirits, originally written by an Italian, but this is an English translation (if only my Italian was good enough to read it, & understand it, in Italian!).
Three very different, but equally fascinating sounding books. I still have to read the latter two to see if they are as good as I thought they would be.
What to pay: Pretty standard price for books. Behind the Moon was $Australian 22.95 for a paperback version. As I've said before books are more expensive here than in the U.S.
Good value, good fashion items. Tops, skirts, pants & accompanying accessories.
I found doing a search that they have a shop in Bridge Road, Richmond and they advertise their merchandise as:
"Contemporary ladies fashions Sizes 8 - 20. Latest trends at affordable prices."
I have to agree with their summation as I ended buying a total of 12 items for $213 (Australian) & I was very pleased with the colurs, designs & styles on offer.
What to buy: Doug was the only one to miss out here as it was a female's shop. lol!
So, the girls & I all got something each & the most expensive item was $29 (Australian so that makes it even better value for American, Western & Northern European & Japanese travellers).
I bought 3 tops & 2 pairs of pants which were very nice, 2 tops for the girls which were equally nice & a number of accessories.
What to pay: No more than $29 per item