At Launceston literary institution Petrarch's Bookshop on Brisbane Street, booksellers have been serving up bestseller titles for more than a generation.
Looking back at the last six months, Petrarch's bookseller Andy Durkin said the state's own literary offerings were continuing to resonate with Tasmanians.
"It's not a surprise but Tasmanians love buying Tasmanian books," she said.
Among the notable Tasmanian titles leaping of the Petrarch shelves were Mile Franklin Literary Award winner The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey, Undiscovered Tasmania by Rochelle Wally Dare and Tongerlongeter by Henry Reynolds and Nicholas Clements - which tells the true story of a First Nations leader and Tasmanian war hero.
That trend was seconded by fellow bookseller Michael Roach, whose bookshop The Book Cellar in Campbell Town specialises in hard-to-find gems among the state's published cannon.
Both Mrs Durkin and Mr Roach noted the recent release, Great Properties of Tasmania by Richard Allen and Kimbal Baker, had continued to sell well.
Keeping within the state, Mr Roach also noted Sally Wise's The Comfort Bake, the newly-released Safe Passage: The Lighthouses of Tasmania by Garry Richardson and The Blythe Star Tragedy by Michael Stoddart as other popular releases.
"As a bookshop that has a strong emphasis on out-of-print Tasmanian titles, we have seen continued interest in quality Tasmanian books from across the decades," Mr Roach said.
Popular reads and hidden gems
Looking beyond the state, Mrs Durkin said Petrarch's bookish clientele had gravitated towards a few notable favourites, including one she herself also adored - Wake by Australian author Shelley Burr.
"I absolutely loved this book. This is her debut and it's such a great crime novel set in rural New South Wales. This one is just something you can sink your teeth into," she said.
Mrs Durkin also noted that the latest in the "Welcome to the Museum" big picture book series, Fungarium by Ester Gaya, which looks at everything fungi, had also proven popular with customers.
For those looking for something a little further afield and perhaps a little lost in time, bookseller Toby Wools-Cobb, whose Quixotic Books is also located on Brisbane Street just a stone's throw from Petrarch's Bookshop - may stock what you're seeking.
Quixotic specialises in remainder books and much-sought international finds, choosing to source books from outside of Australia - rather than compete with the nation's other bookstores. Mr Wools-Cobb scours a backlog of thousands of titles before settling on his picks.
"There are so many incredible books to read that were published last year, the year before, a decade ago, a century ago; by the time a great new release 'really' comes onto my radar, it's been out for a few years."
"Quixotic Books is not about chasing after the latest bestseller, but about finding and offering interesting books that are not currently offered in Australia," he said.
Mr Wools-Cobb often spends his days at his desk searching the world for highly-sought but hard-to-find titles.
"Since we opened 10 months ago, we've had more than 400 requests from people looking for a specific book. Our success rate is around 97 per cent," he said.
With so many titles to choose from, those looking to pick up a new read can often be hit with decision paralysis. To remedy this, Petrarch's staff scour through the latest titles to see what's worth picking up.
"The people we hire love reading and love sharing that with people," Mrs Durkin said.
"If they love a particular book, they will put a 'shelf-talker' on it, which are scattered around our entire shop," she said.
One of the shop's strongest recommendations came from one of its younger patrons. Mrs Durkin's son is reading Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad, which captured his - and his mother's - heart.
"It's about a small boy who's six and he's trying to survive in World War II. He's Russian and loses his family very early on and creates a new family through the Russian army," Mrs Durkin said.
Other titles loved by the Petrarch's staff include Hannah Kent's Devotion, The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater and The Reindeer Hunters, the much-anticipated follow-up to The Bell in the Lake from Lars Mytting.
Meanwhile, despite being less than a year in business, Quixotic Books' quirkier titles are already beginning to resonate with Launceston customers.
"Customers continue to surprise and delight me with their avid interest in scholarly reading. They gravitate to niche histories, such as how sand changed civilisation, how coal revolutionised the Victorian age, and how AI is changing human behaviour," Mr Wools-Cobb said.
A steady favourite at Quixotic is The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, edited by Jeff Vandermeer & Mark Roberts.
"It's an incredibly silly and inspired anthology of fictitious medical conditions documented with scholarly precision," Mr Wools-Cobb said.
"Delightfully macabre, the book has never failed to intrigue whoever gives it a go. It instantly sold out when [Quixotic Books] first opened in August 2021, and so I jumped at the opportunity to order as many copies as I could for 2022!"
Over at The Book Cellar, Mr Roach took the opportunity to champion some little-known Tasmanian titles well worth any reader's time.
"Eleanor Alliston's Escape to an Island and Island Affair are good examples of books that continue to interest Tasmanians over the decades. Her husband's story of service as a destroyer captain of the Royal Navy and subsequently the Royal Australian Navy in the Second World War is a personal favourite of mine," he said.
Looking towards the bottom half of the year, Mrs Durkin said her staff had been particularly excited about one upcoming title.
"One we're really excited about and we just got our first glimpse of it yesterday is a proof copy of Limberlost, the third book from Launceston author Robbie Arnnett. His latest book, it's based on his grandfather's life on the Tamar river," she said.
Other hotly-anticipated titles expected to drop later this year were Exiles by Australian favourite Jane Harper and The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes.
For those considering more niche titles, Mr Wools-Cobb drew attention to several books he's excited to tackle in the next few months, including Steven Hall's debut novel The Raw Shark Texts, The Dark Side of Literacy: Literature and Learning Not to Read by Benjamin Bennett, and Palimpsest: A history of the written word, by Matthew Battles.
"I've read plenty of books about the history of books, but none so focused on the act of physically writing; I'm interested in his passionate warning of what the human collective risks losing - with the loss of the written word," he said.
When asked what he was looking forward to in the rest of the year, Mr Roach noted that for specialist bookstores like his, the great book hunt is as much about the past and the future.
"While I'm always looking forward to seeing the next Phosphorescence, Love Stories or Bruny hit our shelves, of more significance to our success is acquiring another great collection of significant books from an estate or a collector downsizing," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Follow us on Google News: The Examiner