WellingtonShopping
The floor-to-ceiling plywood shelves at Good Books are filled with books. A table in front holds stacks of books.

Wellington’s independent bookstores

Person at Arty Bees Books in Wellington placing a book back into a shelf full of books.
The interior of Unity Books, with shelves and display tables of books.
The interior of Good Books book store. A bare concrete floor with plywood shelves on either wall are filled with all sorts of books.
The exterior of Schrodingers books, with a vintage feel and a tree outside, as well as their purple sign above the shop. Books are displayed in the bay window.
The exterior of Pegasus Books, with people outside reading, there is a large pillar made to look like thick books on the edge of the building.
Inside Minerva, a book store with wooden decorations around the room.
Person at Arty Bees Books in Wellington placing a book back into a shelf full of books.

Arty Bees Books

106 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Arty Bees Books is a family-run, independent bookstore. It’s been operating in Wellington for more than 30 years. It’s one of the city’s largest retailers of pre-loved, new, and rare books.

Arty Bees’ shelves are the perfect example of organised chaos. They hold over 90,000 titles, ranging from the classics to the curious and bizarre. The store has a specialist interest in science fiction and fantasy, New Zealand fiction and non-fiction. It also has many rare and antiquarian books, sourced at auction or estate sales.

Arty Bees Books
The interior of Unity Books, with shelves and display tables of books.

Unity Books

57 Willis Street, Wellington

Fiercely independent, Unity Books is an icon of the capital’s book scene. It specialises in New Zealand and international literature, poetry, history, and nonfiction. It’s also host to some of the most lively book launches and author signings in town.

Well placed in the middle of the city, it’s an easy spot to visit on a stroll around town. Visitors are welcome to browse and find new gems, and there’s always a friendly member of the team nearby to answer questions.

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The interior of Good Books book store. A bare concrete floor with plywood shelves on either wall are filled with all sorts of books.

Good Books

16 Jessie Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Among a clutch of boutique stores and cafés that inhabit Jessie Street, in a narrow plywood shelf-lined space, lies a book oasis. This is Good Books, a non-judgemental space stocking quality books no matter what the genre.

Owned by a poet and an author, Good Books is about the joy of reading. It is welcoming and inclusive, celebrating all genres. Whether you’re looking for a classic or new release, Good Books is a great place to start.

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The exterior of Schrodingers books, with a vintage feel and a tree outside, as well as their purple sign above the shop. Books are displayed in the bay window.

Schrödinger’s Books

137 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

Schrödinger’s Books is an independent bookstore in Petone. Since opening in 2019, it has gained a reputation for its wide range of books and excellent service. Its speciality is Japanese Manga comics, a niche but popular subject.

Schrödinger’s has a large children’s section with books for young people of all ages. They also sell a wide selection of books about Aotearoa, with many in te reo Māori. If you don’t know where to start, the staff are always happy to help you find your next best read.

Schrödinger’s Books
The exterior of Pegasus Books, with people outside reading, there is a large pillar made to look like thick books on the edge of the building.

Pegasus Books

204 Left Bank, Te Aro, Wellington

The home of rare and unusual books, poetry nights, and rubbing shoulders with Wellington’s literary scene. Pegasus Books is a small, independent bookseller tucked off Cuba Street. It stocks quality books ranging from antiquarian to nearly new.

The well-read staff have a wide knowledge of books and the literary world. They’re happy to help you find something from the dozens of floor-to-ceiling shelves. As the name suggests, Pegasus specialises in subjects like poetry, philosophy, and Greek and Roman classics. But, the series of rooms and seemingly endless shelves hold dozens of genres and titles to discover.

Pegasus Books
Inside Minerva, a book store with wooden decorations around the room.

Minerva

237 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Calling all lovers of linen and fans of fabric. Minerva on Cuba Street is for you. The bookshop stocks New Zealand’s largest range of textile and handcraft books. Alongside textile and lifestyle magazines, hand-dyed threads, and stitching kits, it’s handcrafting heaven.

Besides textile books, Minerva also stocks a selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. Beautiful jigsaw puzzles and greeting cards make for great souvenirs or gifts.

Named after the goddess of wisdom and handcrafts, Minerva is a beautiful slice of creativity on Cuba Street.

Minerva