New Edition has had a long history in Fremantle, Perth’s port city. Initially established in a small shop on the main cappuccino strip of downtown Fremantle, it moved about five years ago into an old bank building on High St. This building makes New Edition an attractive place to shop for books. With a classical looking façade sporting what are possibly Greek Ionic columns and a spectacular entrance, the building oozes character.
It’s a huge shop and one of the great things about visiting New Edition are the comfortable chairs and tables set up for browsing your potential purchases. I love the layout, with the ceiling high wooden shelves and the lamps and sculptures. Overall it’s decked out very tastefully with rugs and posters and due to the character of the old bank interior you really don’t want to leave in a hurry. If you go to the very back of the huge space you’ll see the former bank vaults with the original doors intact.
One of New Edition’s specialties is a wide range of reference books covering architecture, cooking, design, art, theatre, music and photography, amongst other subjects. Their stock is beautiful, varied and full of hard to get editions. The fiction section has everything you need coupled with all the books you didn’t know you needed. I find it interesting that they mix the science fiction in with the literature – no literature/genre distinctions here. Make sure you have plenty of money if you visit, as it is extremely hard to resist buying just one book.
New Edition is a high-end boutique bookshop and well worth visiting when you are in Fremantle. They have recently established a tiny coffee shop at the front of the store so that you can boost your capacity to take it all in with tea or coffee; or you can just sit out on their front verandah. Another great thing is that just down the street the Bill Campbell Book Store awaits to fulfill your second-hand book needs. Give them both a visit and help keep bookshops alive – they are not simply just businesses, but are also important cultural hubs in our community.