Minotaur in Melbourne

The perfect Science Fiction bookstores!

Minotaur Bookshop in Melbourne

I had a wonderful experience visiting this bookshop in downtown Melbourne. Of course, I didn’t expect much so that added to the shock appeal. But Minotaur is by far the best SF bookshop I’ve ever seen. No joke! Just upon entering, one is inundated with books, toys, Manga,  and DVD’s galore. It was hard to even focus my eyes; there was literally so much stuff, I didn’t know where to start.

          

As you can see from the two pictures above, they have everything under the sun. But I was mainly interested in books. A subject which is painful because like all booksellers in Australia,  the prices are usually 2x the cover price . This is not necessarily their fault. But I don’t want to focus on prices in this article, and will bring that up in a later past.

Instead, let me comment on the following;

All Hugo winners from 1951 in order!

Yes, here we see every Hugo winner in order displayed nicely. I nearly fell down hyperventilating because no other bookstore has ever bothered to use their precious space in this fashion. Cleary, the owners care more about customer experience than economics. But I applaud them for this. And the cards you see attached are also spread out along the entire extended stack, where one can pick out notable Authors as you browse them in alphabetical order.

What can I say, the shopping experience was truly unique. However, what scares me about all this is the future. With the coming of e-books and Amazon’s kindle, prices for books are bound to fall. What this means for typical booksellers is scary. Probably the same as the US; Many will close their doors. I don’t want to see that happen to Minotaur. They deserve better. So, if you’re in the Melbourne area, check them out. It’s an experience you will probably tell you’re grandkids about.
 
When they say to you; grandpa, did really read all this paper years ago?
 
Sigh!
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4 responses to “Minotaur in Melbourne

  1. Especially with Print-on-Demand coming, I feel many retailers of new books will close their doors. But here in San Francisco there is a rich culture of used book stores with great selection and lots of character and, though their prices are dropping, I think it is a good sign of adaptation to increase their inventory of used books for resale, rather than focus on new ones.

    • I see the same here in the Phoenix Area. Used bookstores (at least the good ones) are doing very well. However, not only was the death of Borders good for this used business segment, but the demise of major DVD rental chains like Blockbusters has also allowed them to take up that business too. Not sure how long it will last, though. Technology like Netflix (for movies) and eBooks will be the death of all media based brick and mortar shopping. A slow death perhaps. But death nonetheless.

  2. I wonder about that, too, Saul! I have a feeling books will not quite go extinct, rather than simply be relegated to a niche market. They will be like vinyl LPs today. There are still people that use them, even prefer them for very particular aesthetic reasons, but they no longer dominate or even have a significant share of the market.

    • Interesting, you’re the second person to bring up the market on vinyl LPs recently. Sadly, I don’t see this as a true market. In my mind, it is simply a form of hobby collecting. Like stamps and coins and comic books. If the market does not have any real significance in the corporate world, I pretty much ignore it. But that’s me. Not saying collecting old books and DVDs won’t be fun to keep. Got a closet full myself 🙂

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