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The Library's onsite bookshop, located in Palmer Hall between Mr Tulk and the foyer, is run by Readings, an independent bookseller with five locations across Melbourne.

Readings State Library has recently been extended by almost one-third to include a larger children’s and young adult books area, a dedicated Australian fiction section and expanded choice of music, including vinyl. The shop also offers a comprehensive selection of books published in partnership with the State Library of Victoria, including Decadent: 1980–2000, A way with the fairies: the lost story of sculptor Ola Cohn and Piranesi's grandest tour: from Europe to Australia.

In addition to books, the shop stocks a range of cards and notebooks, stationery and gifts, CDs and DVDs. If you can't find what you're looking for, the helpful staff can order it in for you. You can also browse and buy from the Readings online shop.

Friends of the Library receive a 10 per cent discount on full-priced books when purchasing at Readings State Library.

Victor Hugo exhibition shop

Visit Reading's pop-up shop in the Library's Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage exhibition, on show from 18 July to 9 November 2014. The range of merchandise includes T-shirts, tote bags, magnets, notebook, cards, postcards and the exhibition catalogue.

The stories behind the merchandise

Paris has its revolutions

The French Revolution of 1789 established the principles of 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity' as the foundation of republican ideology. Victor Hugo believed that the very existence of revolutionary spirit attests to the people’s right to fight for a more just society.

In an essay entitled 'Paris' (1867), Hugo wrote:

Paris's supremacy is an enigma. Think about it: Rome has more majesty, Venice has more beauty, Naples has more grace, London has more riches. What does Paris have? Paris has its revolutions.

Javert and Cosette

Only a couple of months after Les Misérables was published in 1862, the ambitious and unknown artist Gustave Brion decided (independently of Hugo) to illustrate the highly popular novel. He created 14 drawings of the main characters, which were reproduced as photographs and widely distributed. By 1865 Brion had made 200 drawings, which were then published in the first illustrated editions of Les Misérables.

Nox Mors Lux

The words 'NOX MORS LUX' ('NIGHT DEATH LIGHT') are carved on the bedhead of the large four-poster situated in the master bedroom of Hauteville House, Guernsey, Victor Hugo’s home during his long exile from France. The master bedroom is highly decorated in Hugo’s symbolic neo-gothic style, and was created in honour of his political hero, the Italian general and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi. Despite repeated invitations, Garibaldi never visited Hauteville House and the room remained unused. The novelist Alexandre Dumas was given the honour of sleeping in the bed on his only visit to Guernsey; however, he was so disturbed by the atmosphere of the room that he sought alternative accommodation.

Opening hours

Readings State Library is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

More information

Phone 03 8664 7540 for more information.