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The Eight Best Bookstores in Wellington

Because books are a whole lot more than just a few hundred printed pages that smell really great.
By Rachael Short
May 14, 2015
By Rachael Short
May 14, 2015


Because books are a whole lot more than just a few hundred printed pages that smell really great.

There seems to be a common notion today that the written word is dead, that people are turing away from paperbacks and towards Kindles, e-books and, heaven forbid, listicles - or not reading anything at all. Whoever had those thoughts has evidently never been to Wellington, as our city is filled to the brim with successful, quality bookstores, many independently owned and operated.

For many of us, books represent a more than just a few hundred printed pages that smell really great no matter the vintage. Books are companions for many important moments in life - long bus trips, days spent sick in bed, hours of baking in the sun at the beach. No matter how advanced and technically dependent our society gets, there will always be a need for printed text - be it a piece of classical literature, a cookbook, or even a comic. So, we rounded up the best places to find them in Wellington.

Happy reading, folks.

  • 8
    Graphic Comics

    There are three very different ‘genres’ within the world of comics; the American superhero, Japanese Manga, and the French style. Each of these are creative, engaging and all have cult followings of seriously devoted communities, so a round of applause needs to be given to Graphics Comics who manage to satisfy the needs of all three fandoms with the bountiful volumes available.

    Not only that, they’re also stockists of comic merchandise, from superhero figurines to ridiculously cool posters. Even if they don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, these guys are no stranger to an epic comic quest, and are willing to search the corners of the globe to deliver, in true Hero style.


  • 7
    Pinnacle Books

    Holistic healing techniques, mythology, Fearie lore and every kind of self-help guide imaginable is what can be discovered at the only bookshop dedicated to spirituality, holistic beliefs and self-help books in Wellington. The shop itself is a tranquil zone filled with natural light, radiating colour and peaceful vibes. Sourcing only the best, Pinnacles has managed to establish a mass following over the 15 years it has been trading, so take a step in off the bustling streets, you might just discover a new interest you never knew you had.


  • 6
    Book Haven

    Within the walls of Book Haven there are countless stories waiting to be rediscovered – but if by an off chance you’re unable to locate just what you’re after, ask one of the friendly and knowledgeable staff for help. Over 90% of Book Haven’s stock is held off the premises in the largest online second-hand book collection in New Zealand, so if you can’t find it in store it’s bound to be online.


  • 5
    The Ferret Bookshop

    Since opening in the pre-digital age, Ferrets has amassed an ever growing collection of pre-loved, radiant and often rare fiction and non-fiction. Ferrets are an independent book trader who deals in those little gems that one doesn’t often find – so if you’re after the latest copy of the new John Green, this isn’t the place for you. Instead you’ll discover a love of forgotten classics, curious crafts and bestsellers of days gone by.

    Pop your head in at their new 175 Cuba Street location, but be warned, once you’re inside, It’ll be hard to leave empty handed.

  • 4

    An independent retailer of everything crafty and arty, Minerva is where you’re likely to find books about quilting, the history of the Ottoman Empire told through patterns, and the latest issues of art and design magazines such as Frankie, Lulu and Urbis. Besides the small but thoughtfully selected literature on offer, Minerva also sells notebooks, quirky stationary and cards, and little pieces of arts and crafts kitsch that’s sure to get your creativity flowing.

  • 3
    Unity Books

    Whether it be New Zealand fiction, bibliographies or a trusty cookbook, beloved Unity bookstore is bound to deliver a feast for the eyes and minds. Located on Willis Street, Unity has a heck of a lot to purchase, and are staunch supporters of New Zealand literature and authors. Not only do they have an impressive collection in Wellington, but they also host events, book launches and seminars.


  • 2
    Arty Bees Books

    Situated in front of possibly the busiest bus stop in the city, this Wellington jewel is a refuge of many a curious customer. An independent, family-run bookstore since its inception in 1988, Arty Bees is the largest retailer of pre-loved, rare and new books in the city.

  • 1
    Pegasus Books

    Left Bank brings to mind the arcades and alleys found in European cities: hiding away in plain sight, holding many wonders within. Down this particular little arcade alley you’ll find delicious food, and even more delicious books. From humble beginnings as a book stand at the local market, Pegasus has become the place to go in order to relish in the world of obsessive bibliophiles. Carefully selected, curated and categorized, each volume within the labyrinth like rooms has been selected with the upmost thought by the seriously skilled people who work there. On offer is a remarkable mass of topics ranging from philosophical texts right down to the history of salt.

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