January is half over and I am still holidaying with my family in the Nation’s capital, spending lots of quality time with people I don’t see nearly enough of and doing a lot of exploring.
Generally I don’t review the places that I go and that’s because in the course of a day we do tend to go to a lot of places. On the other hand I think it’s important to promote small local business and especially so when it’s a book shop.
Books are still a very popular item and I believe they will always sell and will always make great gifts. Department stores and big chains do make it hard for the small local book stores to compete because they manage to sell at a much lower price point. For this reason I think it is important to shine a spotlight on the local gem situated in the Belconnen Fresh Markets.
I remember heading into the markets as a child and there was lots of fresh food, a little bargain shop and the fish market….who can forget that smell. There was also a secondhand bookshop that I loved to browse in.
Today I headed down to the markets and it has changed quite a lot in the decades since my childhood. There is now a great little playground, a couple of cafes (which I got side-tracked and didn’t make it into) and a delightfully fresh and vibrant little book shop.
Book Passion is on the outside of the markets fronting the carpark with a bright window and a wide opening door. The weather at the moment is a little beyond warm so Book Passion provides a cool oasis of escape to browse a diverse range of reading material that is sure to provide something for every taste.
Reviewing places is not something I do so I’m struggling a bit with how I want to set this out.
The store is bright with two walls of windows and eye catching window displays. The remaining two walls are floor to ceiling shelving units stacked with great books. There are also a couple of free standing shelving units and a large table in the middle of the store. This combination really works because it offers a well set out space designed for browsing and allowing room to move in the store. It is bright, fresh and welcoming.
The layout is perfect for knowing exactly where you need to be with separate sections for non-fiction, fiction, Australian fiction, picture books, young adult and a couple of different children’s age categories.
Range is an interesting thing for a small bookstore because when you can’t compete on price with the likes of the department stores you need to find your place in the market and stock accordingly.
I found that Book Passion has a wide range of books across genres in both fiction and non fiction. I spent most of my time in the children’s book section and found it very difficult to narrow down the selection to an affordable haul.
Australian fiction has it’s own section and is prominently placed to promote local authors.
The benefit of a dedicated book store is that if they don’t have what you want they will order it in for you.
Book Passion also stock a gorgeous range of jigsaw puzzles.
Today I was in store and spoke to the friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable store owner Leisha. She was happy to have a chat about tastes and genres to help find the best fit for my shopping needs. Her passion for books was palpable and she was excited to share the books she loves.
To be completely honest I did duck in briefly yesterday but I was in a rush so didn’t stay to savour or browse much. The staff member working was also friendly and thrilled to share information and her love of books.
I think the best thing about a small local book store is the staff. They know their store, their stock and the market which gives them an edge over the department stores.
Overall I think Book Passion is an amazing little store, I am a little jealous and would love to have offered to work there. If you are ever in the area you can find the store at Shop 35 Belconnen Fresh Food Markets 1 Lathlain Street, Belconnen. Be sure to tell them Beauty and Lace sent you.
#shoplocal #bookstorelove #hiddengem #dreamjob