Thursday Doors – Archive Books (a bibliophile’s haven)

I was out in the city last week to do some Christmas shopping. And by “Christmas shopping” I mean that I had to buy one gift for my workplace Secret Santa. Shouldn’t be hard, right? Well, no, not usually, except that it was really busy and crowded everywhere. Plus I don’t overly like shopping to begin with.

After browsing through a few shops, feeling my patience diminishing, I retreated into a book store. Books make good presents, right? That was my pretence for going in there, but, really, it just felt more tranquil in the book store than out there, even if there were a lot more people than usual in the book store as well.

Being in that particular store, which is part of a large chain of book stores, made me think of another one I’d visited several weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to make a Thursday Doors post from this ever since, but various other things have gotten in the way, so I’m only getting to it now.

This other book shop is also in the CBD, a few blocks from the big one I was in last week, but it’s got a whole different feel to it – less like a department store, and more like a 19th Century library or something.

outer door

Actually, the entrance door reminded me of school doors for some reason, even though I’m pretty sure none of my classroom doors ever looked like this. Maybe it’s the colour scheme?

The shop is called Archive, and it’s an apt name, considering its row upon row of floor-to-ceiling shelves, containing books of almost every category/topic imaginable, possibly from many decades back. A sign outside claims that there are over a million books inside. I wouldn’t question it.


Walking through the aisles, I felt at peace, but also quietly thrilled. The floorboards creak as you walk through, and, in the soft light, picking up a novel published in the early 1900s doesn’t seem so odd (but no less wondrous). One could easily spend an hour (or more) wandering through the shelves, wondering “where am I again?”

Up a small flight of stairs at the back, you’ll find, of course, more books, but also a nice little reading space.

reading space

Fire extinguisher – essential in any book store…

And then, at the very back, are these doors, perhaps once leading somewhere, but now locked up, sealed and leading nowhere.

inside door

It’s not very clear in the photo, but that’s not another room on the other side – it’s the next building.

Funnily enough, just as I was typing up this post, I realised that I already had a photo of those same doors – from the outside! I’d taken this next photo back in June this year, and only just made the connection…


I don’t know what’s in the next floor up. Perhaps something for another post… But, anyway, bonus doors!

I’d been keeping this in my photo “archives” for use in a miscellaneous doors post, but I suppose it fits in nicely here.

As for JMH – that’s a cosy little cafe/bar, serving good coffee during the day, and craft beer in the evening. I’ve not yet had a chance to visit in the evening, so cannot attest to the quality of that brew, but I’ve heard they are rather environmentally conscious with their selection, aiming to source beer from a certain radius to minimise mileage and hence carbon emissions. They help you make responsible drinking choices by displaying the mileage on the taps.

Thursday Doors is run by Norm. Please visit his site to find links to other participating blogs (and to add yours to the list if you want to join in!)


18 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Archive Books (a bibliophile’s haven)

  1. You found heaven! I simply must visit. I love creaky wood floors and LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOOKS! Days, weeks… I could live there! Thanks for sharing this happy place.

    • Haha it is quite the oasis in the middle of the city! I’m glad I’m not the only one who appreciates creaky wooden floors.
      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  2. I love places like this. They have a feel and even a smell to them that makes me want to linger all day.
    What a great way to finish off our year of Thursday Doors. I’m so glad you decided to drop in and share these this week 😀

    • Thanks Norm! I’m glad I did too!
      I’ve learnt that us door enthusiasts tend to like places with a bit of history, and I suppose there are plenty of book lovers amongst us too 😉

  3. What a wonderful find!! I would never have guessed it to be a bookstore – you’re right about it having the look of an old library. I’m glad you added the comment about the creaky floors. It just fit the ambiance of the photos perfectly.

    … and don’t you just love it when you can connect the dots of one visit with a previous one? Great connection on that floating door to nowhere 🙂

    • Haha yes, like piecing together a puzzle! That revelation certainly put a smile on my face. And I do like a good floating door 😉
      Thanks for visiting – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. That looks like a great place! And that feeling you describe, like entering a peaceful haven, so recognisable. I never realised it, but I’ve probably often done the same thing to escape from the noise outside. The shop reminds me a bit of Shakespeare And Company in Paris. Unfortunately I can’t send you a photo in WP. But it has that same unstructured, lost in time feeling.

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