12 October 2011

There should be more bookshops like this

Given the despondent bookstore scene in Melbourne, the arrival of Embiggen Books is glad news. Formerly based in Noosaville on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, this independent bookstore packed up earlier this year for cooler climes southward, making its new home right in the Melbourne CBD (central business district).

But you know what’s more awesome, by orders of magnitude, than a mere indie bookstore? An indie bookstore that has “the biggest range of popular science titles in stock in the observable universe” and also sells scientific equipment and giftware, that deliberately refuses to sell books promoting pseudoscience, mysticism and irrational, baseless nonsense, and that is active in the skepticism movement.

An excerpt from the Embiggen Books website:

[The bookshop’s] parents Mr and Mrs Embiggen have had long interests in evidence based understanding, reason and life, the universe and everything. They have sieved out pseudoscience wherever they smell it so you won’t find new age malarkey in the stock list.

Imagine that, a bookshop with no self-proclaimed spiritual gurus, no anti-science screeds, no outright con jobs like The Secret, maybe even no section on religion (I haven’t visited the store yet). There will most likely be books on the history and philosophy of religion, perhaps of a comparative nature, but it would be wonderful to note an absence of books hawking one brand of sky-fairyism or another.

Fellow Melbournians who appreciate science, reason and skepticism, and books promoting them, while also having a sentimental fondness for brick-and-mortar bookstores are duly exhorted to pay Embiggen Books a visit, and support them with your custom. You can also buy books online and have them delivered to you, so even non-Melbournians can support a business dedicated to science, reason and skepticism.

The address and contact number for Embiggen Books:

197-203 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, 3000

Phone: (03) 9662 2062

HT: Russell Blackford


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