Jeffreys Books on Glenferrie Road, Malvern is certainly not new to me. In fact, it’s an old favourite and although I don’t get to visit often, I pop in if I’m in the area. Today, as I was driving down Glenferrie Road, there was a carpark right out the front – the book-buying gods were telling me something. And I had a shopping mission – Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin.
Jeffreys looks exactly like you expect a bookshop to look – a long, narrow space lined with tall shelves, with the books clearly sorted into sections. Jeffreys has a large area devoted to cards and stationery, all much more appealing than the standard fare found in newsagents. They also have loads of diaries (in fact, they refer to the period between September and February as ‘diary season’).
So what’s so special about Jeffreys? The staff know their books and are always up for a chat or ready with a recommendation. Today we had an in-depth discussion about the Stella shortlist. Two staff members and another customer thought Axiomatic was a fair chance at winning. We also talked about Jessie Cole’s beautiful memoir, Staying, and wondered if it was ‘too much’ for some readers (and hence why it didn’t make the Stella list).
The thought crossed my mind that in the 15 minutes I was at Jeffreys, we discussed books more than my book group does on a bad night…!
Bonus when shopping at Jeffreys – Glick’s is just across the road, in case you need the best bagels. And really, who doesn’t need the best bagels?