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Best Books, Music & Movies in Brisbane

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Rockaway Records is the music collector's Holy Grail. Besides the the latest releases on CD, DVD and LP, it opens the door to a comprehensive world of memorabilia for the curious and the serious collectors alike. Its extensive overseas mail order operation offers hitherto unheard of imports often gracing the shelves. If it is a 1995-access pass for the Babes in Toy-land tour, or an original tape version of that old Beach Boys' favorite, this is the hunting ground for you. Even if not, call in anyway, who knows what you might find.

Jet Black Cat is a record shop that is located on Vulture Street in the suburb of West End in Brisbane. The store has been operating for more than three decades and has quite a following. They sell vinyl’s, CD’s, merchandise and other great acoustic content. The store is a great place to find independent and alternative music labels and is a treat for audiophiles. They operate Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.30a to 5p and Saturdays from 10a to 4p.

Nestled in the heart of West End's bustling cafe strip, Avid Reader, the independently owned bookshop has created a name for itself by offering a fresh and funky atmosphere for the discerning reader. Relax in comfortable leather lounges with a coffee from the landmark cafe Espresso (located next door) as you make your selection, or take your time to leaf through the bi-monthly Avid Reader's Digest. The friendly staff is widely read and will bend over backwards to help with that hard-to-find book! Small print run editions and imports are a specialty. There are regular book signings, launches and readings.

Founded in 1996, Bent Books is crammed to absolute bursting point with the finest range of second-hand and selected new books. With its precariously over-laden shelves and enticing bargain tables out front, any true book lover will find it difficult to resist. Join the swarms of savvy book buyers as they jostle for precious standing room in what has quickly established itself as an essential institution in the ultra-competitive West End bookshop scene.

Climb the stairs, turn right and you enter a world of kitsch unsurpassed in its range. At Record & CD Exchange, there are CD's, vinyl albums, tapes, clothes, shoes and flags among loads of other goodies. A true bargain hunter's delight, The Record Exchange's full value is not obtained unless you immerse yourself in the maze of antiquity for at least an hour. Even the musty charm of the whole second hand empire seems charming and their claims of being one of the most interesting shops in Brisbane are hard to dispute.

Throughout Australia, shoppers can rely on the presence of a Sanity Music Store as much as they can rely on the sunshine. The street market leader, Sanity stocks a broad range of contemporary CDs, tapes, DVDs and videos. In this central store, small specialist areas have been tucked into little enclaves away from the main store. This caters for the army of fans who want nothing more than their beloved hard rock, independent or dance music, but do not wish to mix with the enemy!

Genre fiction is much maligned by the literary elite, but there is no arguing with its popularity. Whether you would like to explore a hidden realm, visit a distant planet, or walk the mean streets in a trench coat, Pulp Fiction will more than accommodate for your needs with a wide range of fantasy, science fiction, crime and mystery books. While small, there is still plenty of space to browse through the countless titles, making exploring the store an adventure in itself. The helpful staff will happily order something in for you if it is not on the shelves.

Mary Ryan's has recently streamlined its number of outlets in Brisbane, and now commands even more respect for its quality service and excellent selection of reading material. Adding to the stylish Park Road area, Mary Ryan's allows you to grab a seat, order a long black coffee and settle in with the latest blockbuster or that literary classic you have been waiting to read for years. Newspapers, magazines, videos and compact discs are also available.

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