I love a weekend getaway from Melbourne, and we all know I love independent bookshops! Less than an hour drive from Melbourne the Macedon Ranges ticks all my best bookshop boxes. There is plenty to see, do and eat in the area. Historic towns like Kyneton, Woodend, and even not-technically-in-the Macedon-Ranges Trentham, have so much to offer local and international travelers alike. If you are planning a trip you might also visit Daylesford & Castlemaine, or Malmsbury, which I have also written guides for.

*Update* December 2019 and May 2023. As I continue to visit the area this post will be updated with new details.

Squishy Minnie Bookstore

6 High St, Kyneton VIC 3444

Squishy Minnie Bookstore is one of the most delightful bookshops I have ever had the pleasure to visit. Located in central Kyneton, it’s a haven for young book lovers. It’s so exciting to see an independent bookshop that specializes in books for children thriving in a regional area.

Squishy Minnie is all about kids. The store is roughly divided into sections based on age, so it’s easy to find the perfect book if you are looking for a gift. If you have a child with you they’ll be able to find the area that suits them, and they might even dive into the toy baskets in the areas for the smallest kids. I was really impressed with their selection, which covers everything from board and picture books, to middle grade and YA fiction, and lots of non-fiction titles accessible to different age groups.

Interior of Squishy Minnie Bookstore in Kyneton. A colourful range of books are displayed on shelves and tables and the counter is decorated with rainbow bunting.
Interior of Squishy Minnie Bookstore in Kyneton. Childrens picture books are displayed on a large shelf with their covers facing forwards. A shelf on the left displays stuffed animal toys above a green indoor plant and a green armchair.

Aesop’s Attic Bookshop

70 High St, Kyneton VIC 3444

Aesop’s Attic is a well-stocked independent bookshop in Kyneton. Selling a mixture of secondhand and new books, they have a large section dedicated to science fiction and fantasy. The whole bookshop is really well-organised, with books neatly stacked and ordered (which can be a rarity for secondhand bookshops!). To top it off, the bookshop occupies an old town home, and similar to Paradise Bookshop in Daylesford, many of the books are on display in separate rooms of this old house. The owner (Clare) knows a lot about local (Macedon Ranges area) authors, both current and throughout history, and will happily recommend books based on her experience. So don’t be shy! If you’re unsure, just ask and Clare will be happy to help.

X-Factor: They host a lot of author events, so make sure you ask in store for a schedule of upcoming events.

Exterior of Aesop's Attic Bookshop, Woodend. A white cottage style house with a grey tin roof. Two maroon signs say 'Bookshop'.
Interior of Aesop's Attic Bookshop, Woodend. Floor to ceiling bookshelves appear on all sides, books are stacked very neatly, mostly horizontally.

Long Story Short Secondhand Books & Music

Upstairs 58-60 Piper Street, Kyneton VIC 3444

Long Story Short was a bit of an adventure to get to. Tucked away upstairs in a trendy part of Kyneton, this small secondhand shop sells not just books, but music, clothing, and other trinkets. They specialise in quirky and kitch, so they don’t have a particularly wide range of your standard classic or literary fiction. Instead, they have coffee table books relating to pop culture, music, film, television and more. In fact, I spotted a particular coffee table book dedicated to Fawlty Towers! If regular fiction is more your thing, they also stocked a selection of pulpy paperback titles with great covers, and if you’re into music they have a whole room dedicated to vinyl records.

X-Factor: The vibe, primarily because it’s hidden away and a bit tricky to find if you’re just wandering along the street, so it’s a really cool catch!

Interior of Long Story Short Secondhand Books and Music. A cosy room has a large dark wooden bookshelf on the far wall, filled with books. In the forground as a wooden chair and a smaller pale wooden bookshelf, also filled with books.
Interior of Long Story Short Secondhand Books and Music. Another view of the cosy room, low bookshelves sit underneath two windows, the smaller wooden bookshelves are in the foreground with a red leather covered chair, and the large dark wooden bookshelves can be seen in the background.

Woodend Bookshop

104 High St, Woodend VIC 3442

A traditional secondhand bookshop, with a single room well-stocked with what you’d consider to be the staples of secondhand bookshops. They had a well organised mixture of fiction and non-fiction, so I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area. The owner was very knowledgeable about their stock, and was happy to recommend books or to just chat about book stuff.

X-Factor: Keep an eye out for a good deal on new releases. I found some well-priced secondhand books that had only come out in the last couple of months, and in really good condition too!

Exterior of the Woodend Bookshop, Woodend. A simple orange brick facade has a large window through which a display of books can be seen.  Multiple signs say 'WB Books' and a white sign in the window reads 'Woodend Bookshop, Quality secondhand books'.
Interior of the Woodend Bookshop. Four rows of bookshelves can be seen, all stacked with books. There are bright yellow signs at the top of each shelf indicate the genres or topic of the books.

New Leaves

81 High St, Woodend VIC 3442

New Leaves sells new books, with a large focus on children’s and YA fiction. I spied a lot of picture books while I browsing. So if you’re looking for a book for a young family member or friend this is a great place to start. The store is really well lit and beautifully decorated. They also stocked a large range of art, design, and decor coffee table books. During my visit there was a display featuring books about gardening and horticulture. They also had a solid range of standard new release fiction, but not as wide as some of the other bookstores in the area.

X-Factor: They have a bookshop cat! If you’re lucky, you might catch Jupiter dozing by the window on a sunny day.

*Update* During a visit to Woodend on 23 May 2023 I noticed that unfortunately New Leaves appears to have closed and not moved to a new location.

Exterior of New Leaves, Woodend. A faux Tudor style building, yellow with dark green trim and a pointed roof above the front door. 5 signs say New Leaves, Books Stationery, Gifts.
Interior of New Leaves. A bright, open bookstore with neat shelves on all walls and windows on the left. A display in the foreground on a table features books by Aboriginal authors.

Doctor B’s Bookstore

40b High St, Trentham VIC 3458

Doctor B’s Bookstore is a small bookseller in the small, leafy town of Trentham. Not technically part of the Macedon Ranges, Trentham under 30 minutes drive from Kyneton or Woodend. So it could easily be incorporated into a visit to the area. Doctor B’s stocks a highly curated selection of books. They purposely stock very few new releases because they want to avoid the hype. In fact, the only books they do stock are ones they highly recommend themselves! The majority of the shop is dedicated to literary fiction. And there’s a large table which offers a wide range of translated fiction from around the world (the majority written by women). It’s probably one of the best range of translated women’s lit in a single bookshop I’ve seen in Australia. Overall, Doctor B’s is quirky and odd, but I highly recommend a visit.

X-Factor: Curiously, they specifically will not stock romance or anything with vampires (an actual quote from the owners!)

*Update* During a visit to Trentham on November 10, 2019, I was able to confirm that this bookshop is unfortunately no longer open. It appears to have closed down and not moved to a new location.

Interior of Dr B's Bookstore, Trentham. Wooden bookshelves are along two walls, and the edge of a table covered in books is just visible on the right. The shelves are sparsely  stacked with books, many books are facing forward, and two shelves are empty. There are two red tub chairs and a round red footstool in the centre of the room. Oddly, there is a sculpture of a chicken and 4 eggs on the ceiling.
Interior of Dr B's Bookstore, Trentham. A close up photo of one of the wooden bookshelves, There are two plants on narrow gilt tables on either end of the bookshelf.

Keen to explore more literary locations in Victoria? Check out my guides to:
Daylesford & Castlemaine
The Melbourne Book Market
Melbourne Bookstores

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Book Lover's Guide to the Macedon Ranges & Trentham, Australia. Explore local bookshops.

Tamsien - Babbling Books
Photographer, stylist, blogger, and digital influencer from Melbourne Australia. Avid reader and lover of creative journaling.

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