Readings Carlton has been awarded the top prize at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards on Tuesday night, putting the Lygon Street bookstore above London's Foyles Charing Cross Road or New York's Union Square Barnes & Noble. The International Bookstore of the Year award sets out to "to highlight the absolutely vital role bookshops play worldwide in not only promoting new titles but also advising readers on the many excellent books already published but yet to be discovered".
The London Book Fair judges recognise that Readings has a strong history of community outreach and support for non-profit organisations with The Readings Foundation. Readings is also known for their support of Australian authors with their literary prizes – the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and the Readings Children's Book Prize – as well as an events program that include writers' talks and book launches. Currently, the Carlton store is also promoting The Stella Prize for Australian female writers.
Readings' Carlton outpost is the bookstore chain's first shop to open in Melbourne. Opening in 1969, the bookstore has stayed on Lygon Street since its inception and its current location across the street from Cinema Nova has been home to the bookstore since 1998. The independent retailer now has stores in Hawthorn, St Kilda, Malvern and the State Library.
Check out our shopper's guide to Carlton for more retail therapy on Lygon Street.