LITERARY LOCATION: Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street in Brisbane, Queensland

Are you ready to be transported into another world?

Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street has over one million books inside these heritage-listed walls. Whoever wrote ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ on this sign obviously had not met me.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted with that beautiful, vanilla smell of old books. This place comes complete with ladders, narrow aisles, creaky floorboards, and too many books to count. One million was probably a generous underestimation.

As you browse the shelves and look for something that takes your fancy, keep an eye on the first page of the novel, where you’ll find the handwritten price.

Take careful note if you want to come back for any books, because this gorgeous place can be a bit maze-like when you’re off in your own little world.

And if you’re using the ladders, watch out for the overhead fans. ‘Off with your head!’ is something best left to the pages of books, don’t you think?

My favourite thing about Archives is that you have all kinds of ancient and modern books. I think these ones have actually decided to regress. They look like they’re trying as hard as possible to turn back into trees.

Don’t worry; if you’re not super into old-as-heck books, you can still find some of the more modern classics on these shelves.

It’s been years since I’ve even touched geometry but I kind of want these books just because they’re pretty.

But I could totally settle for some Dickens in the meantime.

Or these beauties. LOOK HOW PRETTY.

Tempted to choose my Halloween reads from this shelf.

Although there’s plenty of overhead lighting, it does seem like the light sometimes flickers as you move between the stacks. And just as you think you’ve walked to the darkest, most far-flung part of the bookstore, more natural light starts flooding in. Because this place is actually the TARDIS and much, much bigger on the inside than its exterior would ever suggest.

It’s coming from this beautiful room just up a small flight of stairs. One day I am going to buy a house and create an entire library. And it will look like this.

And yes, the bookshelves will probably still be overflowing no matter how many I accumulate.

This room also houses the collection of vintage sheet music available for purchase. Is it just me or does sheet music make everyone feel happy?

Stacked and overflowing bookshelves make me happy as well. I could stay in this place for hours. Maybe if I hide well enough they won’t find me and I can just live here forever.

But eventually, unless you’re prepared for an attempted overnight stay, you’ll have to make your way back to the front of the shop, past all the books you’ve been forced to leave behind.

And new ones that will continue to taunt you even after you leave.

Before you’ve set foot outside, you know you’ll be back for all the books you left behind, and you’re sure to find new additions on your return.

To find out more about the history of Archives Fine Books, or browse their collection of antique books, visit their website.


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