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February 19, 2007 | by  | in Books |
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Wellington Books

Let’s face it – if you didn’t love books you probably wouldn’t be here at Vic. So, keeping that in mind, you’ll need a good summary of the best places to dust off a good book….

Arty Bees

17 Courtenay Place
If you are feeling ‘in the mood’, this secondhand bookstore has a good selection of semi-erotic art books. One of the hidden gems of Arty Bees is its upstairs area which, with its couches, provides the perfect environment to read. Lying on the couches with shelves of aristocratic-looking books you can build up your knowledge to impress people at dinner parties.

Arty Bees The Oaks

Manners Street
The second Arty Bees store (will it stop at two or become a franchise?) has a large range of geeky sci-fi books like StarTrek: The Next Generation novels and Dungeons and Dragons related materials. There’s also lots of dusty textbooks and technical manuals if you like learning about how to be a car mechanic. The table in the entrance has lots of affordable books that make great gifts.

Bennett’s Government Bookshop

Bowen House, Corner of Bowen St and Lambton Quay
Bennett’s appears to be the only place around that sells copies of Hansard Parliamentary Debates; if you keep your eyes open you might even spot a politician or two. Unfortunately. most of the MPs who come here are likely to be lazy, unknown backbenchers from the back blocks – places like Oamaru. Bennett’s is the essential law student’s bookshop, with all the printed Acts of Parliament available for purchase. It’s close to Parliament and there’s even a sandwich board outside with wry quotes written on it each day.

Dymocks

Corner of Lambton Quay and Willis Street
Dymocks is one of the biggest bookstores in town and is usually full of call-centre yuppies browsing through the marketing and personal-development books. In between the yuppies you’ll fi nd a great selection of books for literature and English students. This place also boasts one of the largest selections of travel books around. While it’s got a good collection of recent titles its front window display needs to change with the times. The Weta Workshop display was cool three years ago but now looks rather cheesy.

Whitcoulls

312 Lambton Quay, Cuba Mall and the Reading, Cinema Complex
This stocks books about mainstream issues. While it’s designed to cater for the lover of the The Da Vinci code, its location has become a haunt for a Christian preacher forcing the mainstream to confront their consumer-safe world. I admire his persistence. Apparently he’s been doing it for over 30 years. The upstairs stationery selection is the only real highlight of this store that sets it apart from the other two local stores. Very homogeneous.

Oblong

Left Bank Lane Cuba Mall
When the Freedom shop was forced to move from the bypass it became Oblong. Oblong is the center for hippies, radicals and revolutionaries. Alongside underground booklets and radical books, Oblong is one of the cheapest internet cafes in town at $3 an hour. If you are a greenie, communist, feminist, anarchist or any another -ist then this place is for you.

The Warehouse

Corner of Tory and Cable Street
If you are into Mills and Boon then you will get a bargain here.

Unity Books

57 Willis Street
Unity is a serious contender for the title of ‘best bookshop in Wellington’ because it is the defi nitive store for academic and sociological books. Unity also has an extensive range of philosophy, art, politics and history texts.

Vic Books

3rd Floor, Student Union Building
This is the number one place for Vic Students to buy their textbooks, with brand new course-essential textbooks not being available anywhere else in Wellington (apart from the secondhand bookstore at the beginning of the year). There are also rather random books like Where Is Bin Laden?, an Osama Bin Laden-version of Where’s Wally? This is the one bookshop in Wellington that is targeted specifi cally at students so don’t be surprised if you end up buying a lot of your textbooks here.

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