7 Excellent Online Second-hand Bookstores in Australia for Your Next Great Read

Kira Simpson

Books have always been a big part of my life, thanks to my mum, who shared her love for reading with me from an early age.

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so op shops became our go-to for affordable books. This habit has stuck with me into adulthood, not just because it saves money, but also because it’s great for the environment.

According to Google’s count, as of 2023, there are roughly 158,464,880 unique books in the world. Which means there are plenty of books already in existence just waiting for a new home.

Image Shakespeare and Co via CNN

Best Second Hand Books Online Australia

I adore rifling through second-hand bookstores and markets. There’s nothing quite like that old book smell and the joy that comes from finding your potential next great read.

But second-hand stores don’t always have what I’m looking for, and many smaller towns around Australia don’t have second-hand bookstores or the biggest selection in their op shops. Fortunately, there are some excellent online used bookstores delivering right to your door.

Here are some of the best online second-hand bookstores in Australia, helping old books find a new home.

1. World of Books

World of Books is the digital equivalent of wandering through an endless library. Their vast selection includes everything from mainstream bestsellers to obscure titles.

They pride themselves on preventing the destruction of perfectly good books by buying directly from charities and reselling the titles they don’t want or have space for. This not only supports good causes but also keeps books in circulation. It is worth noting that WoB does not guarantee specific editions or covers, so if you’re purchasing a series, the book covers may not match one another.

Book Grocer Second Hand Books Australia

2. Book Grocer

This bookstore’s philosophy is simple: great books at great prices. With deals that seem almost too good to be true, Book Grocer is the dream destination for the bargain hunter in all of us.

This Melbourne-based store offers a wide range of genres, including new, remainder, and second-hand books, all discounted from the recommended retail price. They also offer Second-hand Book Boxes, filled with a unique, handpicked selection of gently used books to help you find your next great read.

3. Preloved Bookshop Online

Preloved Bookshop Online is an Australian-owned treasure trove for book lovers who believe in giving books a second life. They’re all about the joy of finding a book’s “forever family”. So sweet!

Operating exclusively online, this Melbourne-based store boasts a vast and ever-growing collection of second-hand books. They pride themselves on their extensive range of genres, from contemporary fiction to niche non-fiction topics.

4. AbeBooks

AbeBooks is the online marketplace where rare and out-of-print books find new life. Their platform connects you with sellers worldwide, and their extensive network of sellers makes it possible to find just about any book you’re looking for. Their advanced search tools and curated collections, including rare books and signed copies, make it easy to help you find something special​.

Sainsburys Second Hand Books Australia

5. Sainsbury’s Books

Originally starting at the Camberwell Market, John’s passion for books led to the opening of the physical and online store. Sainsbury’s Books now offers a diverse selection of second-hand books.

From beloved classics to modern fiction, their carefully chosen collection covers a wide range of genres, making it easy to find both old favourites and hidden gems. They cater to the nostalgia of readers looking to complete their childhood collections or find rare editions of classic books.

6. Brotherhood Books

Combining philanthropy and literary love, Brotherhood Books offers a wonderful selection of pre-loved books. They are Australia’s first online second-hand bookstore, and every purchase supports the Brotherhood of St Laurence, helping Australians in need.

They stock over 60,000 books across various genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Plus, orders over $40 come with free delivery in Australia.

7. Reading Habit

This little online store is an absolute dream. Reading Habit is where you go for that down-to-earth, friendly advice on what to read next, all while supporting a small business.

Based in New South Wales, they offer a wide range of books across various genres, from contemporary fiction to non-fiction and children’s books. Their personalised recommendations make it the perfect place to find your next favourite book while supporting a local business.

The Joy of new (old) books

I saw a great meme recently that was something along the lines, ‘of don’t stress about your ever-growing TBR (to be read) pile of books. Instead, start thinking of your books like bottles of wine. To be collected and savoured when the time is right for that particular book.’ I love this philosophy, and so the TBR pile grows!

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability expert. She started The Green Hub as a blog in 2015, which has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education sites dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.