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Harbor of Stories: The Top Bookstores in Auckland

Harbor of Stories The Top Bookstores in Auckland_1

Nothing beats the joy of scouring a shop to find a gripping read. Whether it’s a vintage store teeming with the smell of old-but-gold classics or a chic corner with the newest page-turners, bookstores will never go out of style, especially in Auckland.

With joints like Unity Books and Dear Reader, the city remains a hotspot for both hardcore bookworms and reading casuals. And since there are a plethora of choices, we’ll make book-buying breezy by rounding up the best ones for you!

The Women’s Bookshop

Address: 105 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011

Contact Details: 09 376 4399

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sat to Sun – 9 am to 6 pm


When it comes to bookstores highlighting the tales of women and women authors, The Women’s Bookshop is hard to top.

Their shelves are packed to the brim with all sorts of books, from fiction and children’s stories to health manuals and research materials.

In addition, they throw down frequent author events, where you can meet and greet your famous writer and socialize with fellow bibliophiles.

Tip: Contact them via the phone number above if you’re looking for a book that isn’t in their physical or online store.

Unity Books

Address: Vulcan Chambers, 9 High Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 09 307 0731

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 8:30 am to 7 pm
  • Sat – 9 am to 6 pm
  • Sun – 10 am to 6 pm


Unity Books is the spot for literary lovers who want more than just a paperback fix. This independent spot is a cozy bookstore boasting a smorgasbord of new releases and lit get-togethers.

What put them on the map is their award-winning collection of poetry that hits you in the feels, history that’s more compelling than your favorite thriller, and nonfiction that can make you the smartest person at the dinner table.

Tip: Don’t forget to check the schedule of their upcoming events. Noteworthy events in the past included the launch of “Do You Still Have Time for Chaos” by Lynn Davidson and the Aotearoa Festival of the Arts Writers 2024.

Time Out Bookstore

Address: 432 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden, Auckland 1024

Contact Details: 09 630 3331

Operating Hours: Daily – 9 am to 9 pm


Time Out Bookstore’s A-team of book experts is always ready to find the best book for you, ensuring a hassle-free search.

Upstairs, there’s a chill and welcoming room, perfect for private literary happenings. Bring your book club or writing collective here for a slice of reading magic and tranquility.

As for the books, expect over 20 genres highlighting international and New Zealand literature.

Tip: If in doubt about a book, check the store’s reviews for guidance. They offer valuable insights and help you pick out the best reads.

Dear Reader

Address: 436 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021

Contact Details: 09 360 0383

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sat – 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Sun – 10 am to 5 pm


One step inside Dear Reader, and you’ll see a universe of page-turners. Classics, contemporary fiction, business magazines, self-help reads—they have it all.

You might also mistake this bookstore for your own living room, as snug chairs await bookworms who can’t wait to open and read their latest buy. The general atmosphere and aesthetics are easy on the eyes and mind too.

Furthermore, their staff members are total sweethearts. They’re cordial and will give you recommendations if you’re having a hard time picking a title to bring home.

Tip: Give Dear Reader’s phone number a call if you’re interested in renting their space for book club evenings. You may also email at [email protected].

Hard to Find Books

Address: 2 Saint Benedicts Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 09 368 4898

Operating Hours: Daily – 9:30 am to 5:30 pm


As the name implies, the iconic and undying Hard to Find Books is a haven of, well, hard-to-find books.

This secondhand bookstore is the biggest in New Zealand. Its physical stores (there’s another in Dunedin) flex a massive collection of over 750,000 rare books you might not spot elsewhere.

As a bonus, reading here is a trip down memory lane. Hard to Find Books is housed in an old-world convent, so every time you take your eyes off the pages to look at the bookstore’s decor and design, you’ll be transported to a bygone era.

Tip: If you have a rare piece of literature, Hard to Find Books may be interested in purchasing it. Check their website to know more about their selling process.

Cook the Books

Address: 78 Kelmarna Ave cnr, Trinity Street, Ponsonby, Auckland 1021

Contact Details: 09 360 6513

Operating Hours:

  • Mon – 10 am to 5 pm
  • Tue to Fri – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sat – 9 am to 3 pm
  • Sun – Closed


With a collection of cookbooks that’ll have you whipping up culinary gems in no time, Cook the Books is a bookstore for those who love a good read and lip-smacking bites.

Their titles suit every palate and dietary preference, whether you’re a steak enthusiast or a plant-based bookworm.

Moreover, their products cater to all skill levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Gordon Ramsay’s level or someone who never sauteed before—you’ll find something here.

Tip: Cook the Books has a page dedicated to their current reads. Head to their website to see their personal book recommendations.

The Open Book

Address: 201 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011

Contact Details: 09 360 1741

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 5 pm


Old-world charm and modern comforts make The Open Book a standout. Oh, and they also feature an open-air garden that’s perfect for bibliophiles who prefer non-cooped-up corners undisturbed by noise and smog.

Most of their books here are secondhand, but fret not; the quality is still exceptional. The shop’s top categories include new releases, rare collections, and even audiobooks.

Reading inside the bookstore won’t be an issue either. The cherry on top is this spot feels like a cafe (cafes auckland), as coffee is readily available for guests in need of a caffeine boost.

Tip: Readers who don’t have enough time to visit The Open Book’s Ponsonby branch can save time by ordering online.

BookMark Secondhand Books

Address: The Arcade Devonport, 15 Victoria Road, Devonport, Auckland 0624

Contact Details: 09 445 2960

Operating Hours: Daily – 9 am to 6 pm


Tucked away in Devonport, BookMark Secondhand Books enthralls book buffs with its impressive stash of over 20,000 books.

The folks here are the gurus of pre-loved literature, dealing in secondhand, used, and rare books for those craving texts with a long and intriguing history.

Additionally, they sell the latest paperback sensations, enchanting children’s stories, and collectible fiction. And if you’re into books about aviation, military, or maritime history, you’ll find a treasure trove here.

Tip: To get a feel of the bookstore, take a virtual tour before you visit.

Lamplight Books

Address: G01/100 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052

Contact Details: 09 200 0290

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 10 am to 5 pm
  • Sat – 10 am to 4 pm
  • Sun – 10 am to 3 pm


Lamplight Books stands tall with its award-winning collection, giving a nod to art (art gallery auckland) and culture while also boasting titles that cover fiction, poetry, art, history, children’s books, and texts about Te Ao Māori.

Stepping inside this contemporary bookstore is also heaven for bookworms. There are rows of towering shelves packed with books, comfy chairs on almost every corner, and warm lighting casting a laid-back ambiance.

Tip: Beyond books, you can score merchandise here ranging from tarot cards to tote bags. Don’t forget to check their store to snag these must-have and fascinating collectibles.

The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop

Address: 1 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011

Contact Details: 09 376 7283

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 9 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sat – 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Sun – 10 am to 4 pm


If you want your little ones to develop a wild fascination for literature, The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop is the Auckland go-to.

This isn’t just any children’s bookstore; it’s a beloved institution with shelves stacked not just with books but also with puzzles and games ideal for budding bookworms. As if these aren’t enough, they also have best-sellers, from classics to recent releases.

Tip: Don’t forget to check their audiobooks, perfect for immersing yourself in a captivating story on the go.

The Little Bookshop

Address: 1C/415 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland 1050

Contact Details: 09 520 0081

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Sat – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sun – 10 am to 3 pm


If you want your reading adventures to come with a dash of trendy, The Little Bookshop is the newbie on the block making waves in Auckland.

With its elegant mezzanine, this bookstore is a venue for all things bookish. Think book club gatherings, private readings, and more.

As for their books, you have over 7,500 titles to peruse, covering everything from arts and design to the latest fashion trends and gripping fiction.

Tip: You can contact the bookstore if you’re searching for a book that isn’t in their collection. Their staff will help you find it.

The Green Dolphin Bookshop

Address: 82 Pitt Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Operating Hours: Daily – 10 am to 6 pm


Literary aficionados of all sorts are in for a treat at The Green Dolphin Bookshop.

Their collection showcases kids’ books, vintage gems, and a proud display of New Zealand fiction, history, and LGBTQ+ literature.

They also cater to art and design enthusiasts, offering magazines sourced from local antique collections.

Tip: Follow their social media for updates on book signings, readings, and other events. It’s a great way to meet fellow book enthusiasts and authors.

ubiq Bookshop

Address: Munchy Mart, 2 Alfred Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Contact Details: 09 306 2700

Operating Hours:

  • Mon to Fri – 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sat to Sun – Closed


A beacon for textbooks, specialized materials, and a haven for independent reading, ubiq Bookshop is arguably New Zealand’s leading academic store.

With a massive collection of titles focusing on social sciences, law, language, and business, most books here fall under non-fiction. They still have top-shelf fiction page-turners, though, most of which are classics.

Tip: You can enjoy a 10% discount by simply presenting a valid student’s ID.