Always interesting, never late, and definitely won’t suggest you share dessert—a good book is the ultimate date. So next time you feel like getting out of the house, head to one of our top picks for Perth’s best reading spots, paired with some offerings from our favourite WA authors for good measure.
Perth Cultural Centre
Conveniently sandwiched between the State Library and dive bar delight Picabar (currently under construction), Perth’s Cultural Centre steps are pretty much our version of New York’s famed Met steps. Stretch out on the colourful concrete and embrace your inner urban bookworm. If you find your mind wandering off the page, you can indulge in a spot of sneaky people-watching over the top of your bestseller of choice or have a gander at the arthouse cinema on PCC’s big screen.
Try: New Australian Fiction 2020. A collection of short fiction featuring Perth writer Donna Mazza.
Whether you prefer to be seen on the chic William Street alfresco seating or hideaway in a comfy booth at the back, it’s hard to deny that Bivouac is an optimal book devouring location. No flash in the pan after being on the scene for nine years, the staff here know how to be attentive, while letting you focus on your reading material. Pop into Planet Books next door to peruse some new titles, before indulging in Biv’s signature ‘Sloe-groni’ and a plate of the seriously moreish halloumi with black seed honey.
Try: The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan. Get ready for nail-biting twists in this whodunit, set in Ireland but written here in Perth.
South Beach Dog Beach
Grab a pair of cute shades, skip the shoes and wander down to the puppy-friendly end of South Beach. Why not pack a picnic for one while you’re at it? If you don’t mind being distracted by every kind of playful pooch imaginable and getting sand between your toes, this is the perfect spot to leaf through the pages. Stroll down to Percy Flint after you’ve had your fill of sun and surf, but be sure to get in early to nab one of the Chesterfield lounges by the fireplace. You won’t regret it.
Try: Temper by Chantal Fernando. Steamy romance from the author whose books have graced the New York Times’ bestseller list… all the way from WA’s own Albany.
Best Wishes Cafe
Is there any combination quite as satisfying as a well-made coffee and a good read? You can enjoy both at Best Wishes, which is tucked away on Cantonment Street in Freo. The owner, Jackson, makes sure the vinyl tunes are at ideal ambient reading level and that the vibes are as consistently on point as the coffee. Extra points because the iconic Best Wishes totes available behind the counter make perfect library bags.
Try: Honeybee by Craig Silvey. The latest offering from the Fremantle based author behind bestsellers Rhubarb and Jasper Jones.
Okay, hear us out. Footy and books might not be the most obvious combination. However, with shady seating, family friendly vibes (the bouncy castle is, unfortunately, kids only) and fresh air, you’re essentially just at a park with an added show. Bring your book, grab a bucket of hot chips, wear your team colours, and make a day of it. Even if you can’t focus on your book, you can flip through the WAFL budget, which we can confirm totally counts as reading.
Try: Taboo by Kim Scott. Gripping indigenous storytelling from a two-time winner of the Miles Franklin award.
Araluen Botanic Park
Look no further for scenic surrounds for your literary pastimes. We’re talking lush rolling gardens, quaint stone paths and romantic gazebos á la The Sound of Music. Don garden chic fashion (did someone say floppy straw hat?) and bring a hardcover classic for a road trip out to Roleystone. The gorgeous 1930s log cabins within the fourteen hectares of grounds might even be enough to spark a few story ideas of your own.
Try: Devil’s Ballast by Meg Caddy. Fantastic historical fiction. The perfect pairing for a location that transports you back in time.
The Bodhi Tree
This cult favourite independent store is all about community. A hot spot for book launches, guest speaker events, seminars and community information sessions, The Bodhi Tree is part bookstore, part café, part event space, part ethical gift shop. It’s the ultimate slashie, you might say. Browse the aisles and sink into one of the comfy lounge chairs with a page-turner, a hot chocolate and slice of cake. You deserve it.
Try: Beautiful Waste by David McComb. Evocative poetry from the late lead singer of classic Perth band The Triffids.
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Image credit: Sincerely Media