Don’t you just adore the smell of books – especially treasured, secondhand or old books? Ever spent an afternoon immersing yourself in them, hunting through shelves and picking out things you never thought you’d find? Well, if you haven’t been to Canty’s – read on for our latest #awesomebookstore blog on this wonderful secondhand store in Fyshwick, Canberra.

Secondhand bookshops used to be a staple to any suburb or town. Bookshop owners would hunt for product to stock their shelves and it was often quite a challenge to find enough stock to keep up with demand. The crew at Canty’s bookstore in Fyshwick recall those days. They’ve weathered 26 years of the evolution of secondhand bookstore culture, explaining glibly that ‘just a few people bought something called a Kindle a few years ago’. This had an immediate and twofold effect — the demand for secondhand books dropped overall, but Canty’s supply simultaneously increased as other secondhand stores closed up, and Marie Kondo told us all to de clutter our lives, apartments and bookshelves.

Canty’s is a book lovers delight – every conceivable surface is covered in all kinds of books imaginable. The store is divided into separate rooms, making it quite the adventure as one charming and mysterious book-packed space gives way to another. Some serious time can (and should) be spent exploring the titles on the shelves here – especially as the volume of book stock available to the store has increased. Nothing but the cream is placed on the shelves.

The incredibly small and busy team behind the Canty’s name also purchase secondhand books for the store – all appraisals are by appointment so make sure you call ahead! We were amazed by their knowledge of their product, but most particularly their impressive skill in easily locating any book amongst the seemingly endless towers of pages on offer to meet a customer request  – here there is order, not chaos.

Like all good bookstores they do their bit to support the community around them, sponsoring select local school fetes and activities. But what really sets the store apart is the nostalgia and excitement that their unique stock conjures – the perfect setting for an adventure into the world of books the next time you need a literary escape. There is already a loyal Canty’s following, however their location in Fyshwick, a suburb not famous for its bookstores, means the store is still undiscovered by many long term Canberrans. We are pretty sure their secret won’t be safe for too much longer. All we can say is that it’s well worth the making the trip to explore and enjoy this treasure trove.

You can find more details on Canty’s at

P.S. If you’re a coffee drinker like Lisa, then you’ll be thrilled to know Canty’s is just around the corner from ONA Fyshwick.