After visiting Yarragon the other week I also managed to drop in on Howard Bolton's book store in Northcote.
This is a great store. It may be small in size but it has hundreds of books on it's shelves. I'm yet to visit without finding a handful of Bond paperbacks on the shelves, and I wouldn't doubt there's another box of Fleming's out the back. But Howard's store is more than Bond. It's quality literature and rare titles. This includes a wall of hardbacks, many of which are first editions or hard to find titles.
Howard specializes in finding books for customers and other book sellers. He often spends his weekdays searching for books, and then on the weekend opens his book store to the public.
If you do decide to visit his store in Northcote, immediately on entering you'll either find Howard behind his glass counter covering a first edition in protective plastic, or helping another customer find a book on the shelf. He'll greet you warmly, ask if you need a hand and then leave you to your own devices. The books are in great condition and very reasonably priced.
And Howard certainly knows plenty about books, authors and other book stores. In fact he's been pressing me for years to visit the book shops in Castlemaine (another blog post coming soon) and has plenty of stories to tell. If you live in Melbourne, or are visiting, this store is a must.