About Us

Everything You Need to Know

About Us

Embiggen Books was born on the Sunshine Coast in rural Queensland in 2008. After 3 years we moved next to the State Library in Melbourne.
We are an independent general bookshop with a strong focus on popular science and philosophy. Whilst these two areas form the backbone of our range we also have an excellent selection of fiction, history, economics, children’s books, art and design, architecture, young adult, politics and cooking books.


Over the years we have hosted hundreds of events with speakers as diverse as Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty to award winning children’s book author/illustrator Graeme Base. Other local author speakers include journalist Jill Stark, bioethicist Leslie Cannold, psychology Gina Perry, former Victorian Premier John Cain and novelist Max Barry. We’ve also been fortunate enough to have international speakers such as Professor Lawrence Krauss, Simon Singh and A.C. Grayling.


Coffee will not be served during our holiday period.

Christmas Eve 10.30 am – 5.00 pm
Christmas CLOSED
Boxing Day CLOSED
Dec 27th-31st 10.30 am-5.00 pm
New Years Day CLOSED
Jan 2nd-6th 10.30 am-5.00 pm
Jan 7th normal hours

Where & Hours

197-203 Lt Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000 (Phone: 03 9662 2062)
Right next to the State Library between Swanston and Russell Streets
on the outside of the QV building.


Monday          9:30am-6:30pm
Tuesday         9:30am-6:30pm
Wednesday   9:30am-6:30pm
Thursday        9:30am-7:00pm
Friday             9:30am-7:00pm
Saturday        10:30am-5:00pm
Sunday           10:30am-5:00pm


Coffee & drinks served Monday to Friday 9:30am-4:30pm.


In July 2015 the best little bookshop in town got a little better with the addition of a magnificent handmade coffee cart. We use a unique blend created for us by local coffee roasters Edmund and Elena Scharf at Coffee Basics in Castlemaine. The Scharf family have been coffee roasters for 50 years and have created singularly European style dark roast for Embiggen Books.


They also happen to be extremely lovely people! Another local family company Xocolatl supply our truly exceptional hot chocolate blend, which uses finely grated single estate Venezuelan dark chocolate. Beautiful chocolate without the sickly sweetness or being too thick. We do serve tea as well and this has been provided by the well known T2 label. The cafe is open Monday to Friday 8.00am – 3.30pm.


We host a monthly book club called the Big Ideas Bookclub. This meets up on the last Wednesday of every month except December. There is no fee for joining though we do have a donations jar to help keep the liquid refreshments going. We read fiction one month and nonfiction the next. Our books invariably have something to do with science. Some of our past reads have included: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett;


The Pluto Files by Neil deGrasse Tyson; Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre; A Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick; Relativity by Antonia Hayes; After Party by Darryl Gregory; The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie; The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin; Clade by James Bradley; and We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.

Job Applicants

We are staffed by the two owners and some particularly wonderful casuals. There are very few opportunities for employment with us due to our small size, and low staff turnover. However it does still happen from time to time that we need someone, so should you be looking for work and preferably have had at least 1 year of bookselling experience.


Before you apply we would ask that you become a little familiar with our store and what we’re about. We receive about 20 applications a week and many have never set foot in the store to say hello. It also goes without saying that you be an avid reader. Email your application or drop into the shop to drop it in.  And thanks for wanting to work with us!

Other Regular Queries


Further information for authors approaching us; those wishing to hire our venue for a function;

and a note on why we don’t have an online shop.


Our venue is for hire. We have hosted film shoots, fashion shows, advertising shoots, weddings, launches and more. Please email us your proposal including any details for onsite insurances you may need for film location work, plus anything else you need from us as a venue. Note for catering: we prefer it that any catering be cold food. Please put location hire in the subject field.


We are approached by authors to stock their books 5-10 times a week. As much as we’d like to, we cannot take them all. Firstly check out the store to see whether or not we carry books like yours. For instance, we don’t have the following sections in the store, Sports, New Age, or Self Help. Please approach us in the first instance via email (subject: book to stock) with an image of the book, a synopsis and a sample chapter. It may take some time to respond as we are only a small shop with only one person fielding the hundreds of emails we receive each week, so please have patience. If we haven’t replied within 2 weeks feel free to send us a reminder.


You have probably noticed by now that we don’t have an online shop. There are various reasons for this the main one being we simply didn’t have time to run a website that we felt provided the kind of experience we’d prefer to give. Also and importantly it’s just not as much fun as working in the real thing. We have put a lot of effort into creating a store that’s a pleasure to browse in and that pays respect to the books we hold, so all we really want is to see you come through our door. If you are having a book emergency and can’t make it, please call or email us your query and we’ll help you as best we can.

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