Wellington's best independent book & record stores

Wellington's home to some one-of-a-kind independent book and music stores that are must-visits for any literary or music lover

Records on shop floor at Slow Boat Records on Cuba Street

Slow Boat Records

183 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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The kind of record store you thought only existed in movies from the 1980s and 90s, Slow Boat Records on Cuba Street is a must-visit for anyone who is into music. The store is always playing some interesting music and it’s not uncommon for customers to walk up to the counter to say, ‘I’d like to buy the album you’re playing’ and from time-to-time there are live performances in-store. The staff are passionate about music and all have their own specialist genres and are happy for customers to browse the new and used CDs, vinyl, DVDs, posters and t-shirts to their hearts’ content.


Pegasus Books

Cuba Mall, 204 Left Bank, Te Aro, Wellington

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The home of unexpected one-off finds – from rare and unusual books, to poetry slam nights and gigs, to spotting local literary heroes. Pegasus Books is a small, independent bookseller who stock quality books, ranging from antiquarian to near new, at good prices. Their well-read staff have a wide knowledge of books and the literary world and will be more than happy to help you find something that’s just your cup of tea. More than just a store, Pegasus Books regularly hold events and gigs, including Friday night Fiction Room, where musicians, writers and poets perform in the fiction section to a packed-out room. Pegasus Books are also a venue for Wellington’s annual literary festival, Verb Wellington.


Shop floor in Pegasus Books on Cuba Mall
Book shelf at Pegasus Books in Cuba Mall
Pegasus Books in Cuba Mall
Unity Books customers

Unity Books

Willbank House 57 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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There’s a special feeling when you walk into Unity Books. There’s a child-like sense of excitement at the overwhelming array of rainbow-coloured book spines and tables stacked with books devoted to all your favourite genres from cooking to photography, children’s books to biographies. Unity Books is an award-winning independent bookshop that specialises in New Zealand and international literature, poetry, history, and nonfiction and they always the latest new releases by award-winning writers. Unity Book staff are a delightful mix of literary-lovers who will help you hunt down what you’re looking for. 


Rough Peel Music

173 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Rough Peel Music is one of those stores you could spend hours browsing to discover new and old music or rediscover old favourites. The store has a great selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and even some cassette tapes (for those who remember them). The Cuba Street store has a chilled out, ‘come as you are’ vibe that makes it a place you’ll want to stay and browse. The friendly staff are passionate, knowledgeable and super keen to talk music.


Rough Peel Music cds
Ferret Books event

Ferret Books

175 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Established back in the days when the only way to read a book involved pages and ink, Ferret Books has been a haven for book lovers since it opened in 1979. Independently-owned, this much-loved bookstore sells, trades and sources second-hand reading material and it’s a great place for hard-to-find, out-of-stock or first edition titles. The store has a sense of calm and serenity, with a polished wooden floor and exposed brickwork peaking out between the shelves of thoughtfully arranged books.


Vic Books

27 Lambton Quay, Te Aro, Wellington

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If you can’t think of anything better than drinking a coffee and reading a good book, then Vic Books is totally your kind of place. With bookstores in two locations, each with their own café serving locally roasted Peoples Coffee, Vic Books is a food and book lover’s paradise. Vic Books has a superbly curated selection of books, from the latest in New Zealand international fiction, to the most talked-about nonfiction titles and best-loved kids’ books. Vic Books has an online store, so you can easily get books delivered to you or a friend. 


Man reading book to children at Vic Books
Book shelves at Vic Books
Lady buying a book at Vic Books
Minerva books
Minerva cashier
Minerva more books


237 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Calling all lovers of linen and fans of fabric, Minerva on Cuba Street is a rare type of bookshop that’s dedicated entirely to textile and handcraft books.

With a cool 4,000 titles in-store at any time on subjects ranging from interior design to crocket, knitting to fashion, Minerva is a fun place for a browse. There’s a good range of imported magazines which will look just perfect on your coffee table and there’s an incredible selection of greeting cards for stocking up your present drawer at home.


Another Chapter Bookshop

6 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington

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An independent bookshop with a well-curated selection of fiction, non-fiction and children's books, as well as a selection of cards and gifts. Another Chapter is owned and run by Lorna Bingham, who spent 25 years working as a nurse before opening the bookstore, which is just across the road from Wellington Hospital. Lorna is a strong advocate of the joy that books can bring, and the store is perfectly located to buy a gift for friends and family in the hospital. 


Another Chapter Bookshop
The Childrens Bookshop exterior
Girl reading Credit Josh Applegate
Childrens Bookshop interior

The Children’s Bookshop

Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie, Wellington

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The best place in Wellington to find books for children of all ages is The Children’s Bookshop, an independent specialist store in Kilbirnie.

Established in 1992 by John and Ruth McIntyre, The Children’s Bookshop has won numerous bookshop awards over the years and in 2011, John and Ruth became the first booksellers to be awarded the Betty Gilderdale Award for Service to Children's Literature.

Both in-store and online you’ll find a wonderful range of books, DVDs, toys and games. The friendly and book-loving staff will happily help you find just what you’re looking for or introduce you to new and classic books that kids are sure to love.


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