Shock! McGills technical bookshop closed

In General by John4 Comments

My plan for today was to get up early (for a retired septuagenarian), then drive into the city to get the two WordPress books I wanted from McGills in the CBD.

I didn’t get going quite as early as I hoped, so by the time I got to the city, or to be more accurate, the Arts Centre carpark at Southbank, with a 20 minute brisk walk to McGills, it was well after 1.30pm by the time I got to McGills book store.

As I approached the store, two questions were running through my mind.  Was I too late to browse and buy the books I wanted?  Or were the books still in stock?

The answer was not what I expected.

The McGills store was a gutted shell.  The workmen on the site told me that many people had come in from afar in the countryside, and were shocked to find that the store has closed.  They commentd that at least I had a sense of humour about it.

I then tried Angus & Roberstson.  They didn’t have any WordPress books in their Melbourne stores.  So I then set out for Reader’s Fest in Swanston St, as they have a good range of books of all kinds, including computer books.

When I got to the escalator leading down to the Reader’s Fest store, I was blocked by an old dear who stood unmoving at the top of the escalator.

She was stunned to see, looking down the escalator, that the Reader’s Feast store is now just an empty dark shell.

Note: Since writing that post I later learned that Reader’s Feast had suffered a power outage for a few hours that afternoon. That’s why it was dark (it’s a basement store) and none of its fittings could be seen.


  1. There is always the online options – and even McGills have their own website. They seem to have moved up to Brisbane. After over 50+ years in Melbourne, they must have had enough of the cold winters.

    If you are after physical stores to visit, may I suggest the following:

    * Borders – Melbourne Central, Carlton, Jam Factory, Chadstone
    * RMiT Bookstore – and the one opposite them on Swanston Street
    * Melb Uni Bookshops
    * Academics Books – on Swanston Street

    Good hunting…


    1. Author

      Thanks for your suggestions, Ric. I visit Borders at Chadstone several times a month, and the Jam Factory and Melbourne Central stores less often. I worked in the Jam Factory from 1983 to 1995 (Elders-IXL which became Foster’s Group in 1990) and that’s where I park when I lunch at France Soir (as I will next week). I think I’ve been to Academics Books a few times over the years – if that’s the one well up Swanston Street – but I didn’t know the name of it to check out the address, so I haven’t been able to find it in recent visits to the city. So thanks for that.

      As for McGills, I had noticed that their website still existed, but I thought it must be a left-over from the old days. But you’re quite right. Their contact address is now in Queen Street, Brisbane. Today, in Melbourne, is certainly not a day where I’d dispute that they must have had enough of the cold winters in Melbourne. But I understand McGills lease ran out for their store, and the new terms were prohibitive.

      I must confess that in the past month I’ve been buying my technical (and foreign language course) books from Amazon, in the Kindle editions. Much cheaper, instant download delivery, and they don’t take up space in my home.

      Thanks again,

      1. Borders also have their own Kindle version.

        I like the concept of Kindle, but dislike the fact that ePaper is only black and white. I’d be happy to purchase one when they render colour, and not be the size of an iPad.

        Also, if you like french cuisine, have you tried Bergerac on King Street, The Brasserie by Phillippe Mouchel at Crown (which I understand may close shortly), or ParisGo on Rathdowne?

        1. Author

          I should have explained that by “Kindle versions” I meant the Kindle software for PC, iPad and iPhone. It’s the iPad version I most use – it’s portable, colour and has easily adjustable font sizes, screen brightness, and a search feature. Interesting, some books which are B&W in the print versions are colour in the Kindle edition.

          Thanks for the suggestions about other good French restaurants in Melbourne. I’ve looked up their web sites and their menus look interesting.

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