Walking into Ariel Books is like walking into a home away from home. Filled to the brim with beautiful books, lovely gifts, and interesting knick knacks, you will spend many hours contently perusing the shelves. Based in Paddington, Sydney, the store has a wonderful relaxed feel, with friendly, knowledgeable staff making a warm and welcoming atmosphere...
Nestled at the back is a children's corner, with an amazing range of books which are tested by the staffs own children. Lovely small tables and a pillow laden couch fill the space, inviting children to happily spend hours in a world of words.
We asked Ariel Books a little bit about themselves and what makes their store so special...
When did Ariel Bookstore open and who started it?
Jane Blanks opened Ariel Booksellers in 1986.
What makes Ariel Bookstore so unique?
Ariel has a really distinctive and easy going ambience. Folks who venture into the store immediately feel the shift. We have an eclectic collection of books and gifts in stock with music from yesteryear always on rotation. Our staff are such great and down to earth individuals who really contribute to the Ariel atmosphere and our customers are just wonderful.
What type of experience do you hope your customers will have in your store?
Customers comment that Ariel feels like a world of its own and we have to agree. We try to create a space of refuge from the world where people can feel comfortable, relaxed and inspired all at the same time. For many Ariel feels like a second home.
How do you go about finding all your wonderful books?
Lots of research, lots of staff and customer input and of course great publishers.
Tell us something about your bookstore that might surprise people?
We love dogs, they are always welcome in the store! We are also open very late and always have been since we first opened.
What does Ariel Bookstore look for in the perfect children's book?
We test drive books with our own children so visuals and an entertaining story always win out. It depends on the age group but a good book needs to have the right combination of illustration and story.
What are Ariel's three favorite kids books in store at the moment?
1. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. It's got really quaint illustrations and a cute storyline about a bear who is very attached to his missing hat.
2. Flip-O-Saurus by Sara Ball. This one is very popular - it's a large identikit style book where children can create weird and wonderful dinosaurs.
3. I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog by Leslie Braunstein. A personal favourite at the store, this one is a bright, colourful allegory about tolerance. It also includes a 3 song cd with music by Peter, Paul, and Mary - appealing for the parents too!
42-44 Oxford St, Paddington
Paddington 02 9332 4581