Tips for Using our Online Store

There are several ways to access our Online Store:

  1. Click on the orange ‘SHOP ONLINE’ tab, which appears at the left of screen at all times on all pages of our main site (this site) or click the button here to the right:
  2. If you find a book description you like on our website, for example in our monthly New Releases, click the ‘BUY NOW’ button to go directly to that title in the Online Store.
  3. Follow links shared through our Social Media sites (Facebook or Instagram).
  4. Copy and paste the Store address into a new tab or window of your internet browser:

Always remember you can phone or email us directly during regular trading hours if you can’t find what you a looking for – we will always be happy to help.

Browsing the Online Store

Use the Featured menus in the Store sidebar:
  • New Releases displays all titles in our system which are to be published in the current month. For items listing as out of stock under this menu, check their publication date – they may not be due for release until later in the month.
  • Reading Guides displays all items appearing in our various seasonal catalogues. Select the catalogue you wish to browse. Alternatively you can view the catalogues directly by clicking on the images in the slider at the top of the Store.
  • For all items in the Featured menus, titles will display as being in stock or out of stock. If an item is listed as out of stock, you can still order it through the website – we will contact you to advise likely time frame for fulfillment of your order.
Select the genre sidebar heading you are interested in – browse through the titles listed.
  • When you select any of the genre sidebar headings, the top of the search results page will included a link which says ‘Search again for In-stock items only‘. Click on this and the search page will refresh to only display those books currently in stock. Otherwise the initial search result will list all titles in our database, even those not currently in stock, and potentially some titles which may no longer be available to order.
  • In the event that you place an order for an older title which is no longer available from our suppliers, we will get in touch to let you know and provide you with alternative options (e.g. an updated edition) or a full refund. To avoid this, only order those items currently in stock, or get in touch with us to seek more information on a title we would need to order.
  • We have thousands of titles in stock at any time – consider using the ‘Search’ box at the top right of the Store to narrow your results by a favourite author or title you may have heard about. See tips below.

Searching for a specific author or book

You can search by title keyword, author name or ISBN (a unique book identifying number – 13 digits, starting with a ‘9’).
Tips for searching:
  • Use less common words – this will narrow your search results.
    • Example: One Hundred Years of Solitude – searching by ‘solitude’ will give fewer results than searching by ‘one’ or ‘hundred’
  • For long titles, only use one or two keywords – do not enter the whole title.
    • Example: The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – search using ‘hundred’ only.
  • Do not use punctuation.
    • Example: For Gulliver’s Wife, remove the apostrophe before searching: gullivers NOT gulliver’s.
  • Use combination searches of title keyword and author to narrow your search results.
    • Example: For Lee Child’s Blue Moon, instead of searching by ‘child’, ‘blue’ or ‘moon’ (all common words), use a combination such as ‘child blue’ or ‘child moon’ to narrow the results.
If you get a ‘no match’ message for your search, there may be several reasons:
  • we do not currently have that item in stock or have not previously stocked that item.
  • you may have misspelled a word or have a title or author’s name incorrect:
    • Example: Many people mistakenly refer to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as The Handmaiden’s Tale. Searching by ‘handmaiden’ as a keyword will return a ‘no match’ even if we have the book in stock.
  • you may have included too many search terms (see earlier tips for searching).
In all cases, if you get a ‘no match’ result – phone or email us and we can investigate further for you.

Always be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Online Store before purchasing to ensure you understand the process for buying online. If we haven’t covered your question, just phone or email us and we’ll be happy to help.

Pandemic: All Up to Date Information

Last updated: 7.30pm Tuesday 27 July 2021

We continue to operate under restrictions to ensure staff and customer safety during the pandemic.

We ask for your patience and support during this time, and thank you for your kindness and respect.

Entry Conditions: 

  • Face masks will be mandatory until further notice.

  • QR Code check-in via the Service Victoria app is mandatory.  We provide a kiosk check-in at the counter for those customers without a smart phone or unable to check-in via their own device.  Please see our staff for assistance on arrival in store.  

  • Please maintain social distancing while in store

  • Please sanitise hands on entry and prior to handling stock

  • Our staff may limit customer numbers and browsing time to ensure we adhere to safe density requirements – please be respectful of our staff if they ask you to wait.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to take measures to find balance between the need to provide a safe environment for our staff and community and meeting customer needs.

Our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing support.

2019 Children’s Book Week and Story Writing Competition Winners

We were delighted to kick off our celebrations for Children’s Book Week yesterday with a visit from the lovely Jane Godwin and the announcement of our Story Competition Winners for 2019.  What an absolutely bumper crowd we had?!  Thanks so much to everyone who was able to come down and enjoy the afternoon’s festivities.


Jane Godwin very generously spoke with us about her own writing approach and ideas and gave the kids her Top 10 Tips for Young Writers, which are a great reference for everyone putting their entries together for next year!

Story Competition Winners

We had more than 200 entries this year from Prep through to Year 12 – it is always such a difficult task to whittle all the wonderful stories down to just a few winners.  All entrants receive a certificate of participation, which can be collected in store until the end of October 2019.

This year’s winners and honourable mentions in each age category were as follows:
(click on the winning titles to read the story – use the tool bar at the bottom to scroll through pages)

Lower Primary School (Prep & Year 1)

Illustrations:  Super Cat: Race to the Crown by Hugo Wright
Picture story: The Chocolate Yaks of the Mornington Peninsula by Tyler McClusky
Short story: Sustainaville by Milly Davies

Middle Primary School (Years 2-4)

Poetry: The Magic Box by Luca Broadbent
Picture Story: The Day My Food Fought Back! by Perry McCluskey
Short Story:
1770 by Signe Hardt
Be Careful What You Wish For by Toby Adeney

Picture Story:
The Big Holiday by Gwendolin Mapp
Monster Catastrophe by Charlotte Calvert
Short Stories:
The Best Day by Olivia Natoli
The Medallion Thief by Amy Akers

Upper Primary School (Years 5 & 6)

Poetry: Different by Leah Reaper
Tormented Dreams by Faith Hatch
The White Horse by Viola Turchini

Trouble in Tango Bay by Sophie Doye
Water by Lilyana
The Odd Friendship by Ilyssa

Lower Secondary School (Years 7-9)

Freedom by Taylor Branford
Hide by Isobel Dymond

The Fire That Shook Me by Adam Houben
Welcome to Whiterock by Isabel York

Upper Secondary School (Years 10-12)

No One Knows Riva by Rebecca Shute

Congratulations to ALL ENTRANTS on your wonderful stories – we can’t wait to see what you have for us next year!!

If you’d like to check out the winners and honours list for this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Awards, you can see them here.  Note that there are usually supply delays for winners and notables following the announcement, but as always we are happy to place special orders if you would like a particular book.

We have limited signed copies of some of Jane Godwin‘s lovely books available in store now (while stocks last).  Her new books Tilly and One Blue Shoe, will be out in October.

An unexpected but wonderful surprise…

…2019 Regional Bookstore of the Year

At the annual independent booksellers conference in Adelaide last month, we were delighted to discover we had been voted by Australian publishers as the 2019 Regional Bookstore of the Year…in the whole of Australia!

The Leading Edge Group, who coordinates the conference, asks all publishers to nominate their top 3 metro and regional stores according to the following criteria:  

  • Successful and committed book retailing;

  • Excellence in in-store and online environment;

  • Community engagement such as book clubs/author events;

  • Operational expertise in areas such as buying, returns, and range management;

  • Creative marketing campaigns;

  • Engagement in LEB and publisher marketing initiatives and group events; and

  • Contributing to the viability of the entire book trade.

Our friends at Matilda’s Bookshop in Adelaide took out the prize for the Metro category, with runners up Readings and The Avenue Bookstore, while the other finalists in the Regional category were BooksPlus in Bathurst and The Bookshop Bowral.  We were humbled to be nominated with such high quality businesses and passionate booksellers.

We would like to extend our thanks to our amazing staff and our gratitude to our wonderful community, who continue to support us by shopping local and making Farrells the Mornington institution it is.   

Also announced at the annual dinner, at which we enjoyed an amazingly moving performance from Archie Roach, were the annual Indie Book Awards.  The winners of these awards are chosen by independent booksellers around Austarlia, who are renowned for their love of books and reading, support new and emerging Australian authors and foster a love of quality writing.  The winning books for 2019 were:

  • Fiction Book of the Year: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

  • Non-fiction Book of the Year: The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

  • Debut Fiction Book of the Year: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

  • Illustrated Non-fiction Book of Year: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton

  • Children’s Book of the Year: Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

  • Young Adult Book of the Year: A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry Jonsberg

  • Overall Book of the Year (selected from the winners of all categories): Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

Children’s Book Week Author Visit and Story Competition Winners

We were delighted to welcome Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood, author and illustrator of Real Pigeons Fight Crime, to help us celebrate Children’s Book Week 2018, if a little belatedly.  And boy did we use ALL our new space post-renovations!!  What an incredible crowd we had, with well over a hundred budding authors and illustrators and their families joining us for a great afternoon.

Andrew and Ben entertained us and shared what it was like to collaborate to create a book like Real Pigeons – and even created a whole new pigeon character with the help of the crowd – perhaps we’ll see a nose-shaped pigeon with the superpower of ‘super snoring’ in one of the next books?!  (Real Pigeons Eat Danger, Book 2, will be out in November)

But of course, everyone was also there to hear the announcement of the winners of this year’s Story Writing Competition.  With a record 195 entries across 5 categories from lower primary to upper secondary, we certainly had a massive task on our hands deciding on the winners.  If we could, we’d give EVERYONE a prize, but for those who missed out this year – keep honing your skills and delving into that imagination and maybe next year will be YOUR year!!

So congratulations to the winners for this year, who were as follows:

(click on the individual titles to read the story)

Lower Primary School 

Amelie Masters for Little Brown Bear
Fehin Contini for The Wawel and the Witch 

Middle Primary School

Rowan Fitzgerald for Charlie’s Adventure to the Planets

Louis Morgan for Oh Winter Weather

Lily Grant for The Forgotten Name
Bethany Greenstreet for Bessie’s Story
Gwendolin Mapp for Zara’s Ice-cream
Mia Spicer for Miranda 

Upper Primary School

Anya Renwick for The Wheel of Life
Isabel York for Bluebell Farm

Lower Secondary School

Emily Marthick for Hugo Essay

Charli Lloyd for Sincerely Dorothy
Alex Tepaske for The Edge of Insanity

Upper Secondary School 

Elise Harrington for Remember September

Thanks to everyone for being involved in our Story Competition this year – it is truly one of our favourite times of year and we feel so blessed to be a part of a community that is so invested in reading, writing and the arts!!  Bring on 2019!!!

2016 Story Writing Competition: Winners and Honours List

We were quite overwhelmed this year by the number of entries (almost 100!) and the levels of enthusiasm put into them by everyone – it’s so fantastic to see the bucket loads of talent we have here on the Peninsula in all our budding young authors.  You are certainly a very impressive lot!!

It was wonderful to see many of you at our Author Event with Wendy Orr on Saturday 27 August – you had some fantastic questions for her about what it’s like to be an author.  I hope her responses were helpful to those of you dreaming of one day becoming one yourselves.

Unfortunately, there can only be a few winners and our judging task was a difficult one, but we are pleased to announce the 2016 winners as follows:

LOWER PRIMARY (Prep to Yr 3)

Winner: How I Dreamt of a Super Dog by Rupert Brancatisano

Winner: My Friends by Zali Horner

Winner (Illustration): Going Around Australia by Ayana Barker

Honourable Mention: Footy Cards Save the Day by Jiah Patane

Honourable Mention: Some Days by Lily and Oliver Rivett


Winner: The End of Mr HB by Mia Davies

Honourable Mention: Lost Eggs of Elsia by Siena Yap

Honourable Mention: Quontana by William Atta


Winner: Goldilocks and The Revenge of the Three Bears by Maddy Scharpenack

Honourable Mention: The Girl in Blue by Emily Savage

Honourable Mention: God’s Angel by Holly Newgreen


Winner: Tom, Leon and Jill Go to Space by Chris Hollins

We have uploaded the winning entries, so just click on the links if you’d like to have a read.

If you didn’t win a prize this year, don’t be disheartened – keep working at your stories and illustrations, and read lots for inspiration – next year might be your year!!

We have prepared a Certificate for every entrant – you can collect yours in store – just ask our friendly staff.

We will dispose of any certificates and stories not collected by the end of October.

Thanks for helping us celebrate Children’s Book Week 2016
– we can’t wait to see what you’ll have for us next year!!

Reading Resolutions 2016

This time of year everyone seems to be making plans for all things ‘self-improvement’ – lose weight, get fit, declutter the house, quit to pursue that dream job, try not to yell at the kids so much… Otherwise known as ‘new year’s resolutions’. As for many (most?!) people, I’ve never been particularly successful at keeping many of my resolutions, but one area in which I have mostly succeeded in recent years has been in my reading goals for the year.

Having annual reading goals started out of necessity during my ‘young babies’ years, when I set the bar very low indeed (who in their right mind prioritises reading over sleep?!) – back then it was a case of “read one book – my book club book – per month”. This was as much an escape from the less joyful aspects of young babies as an attempt to cling to the remnants of my thinking mind. But eventually having reading goals for the year took on more of that ‘self-improvement’ aspect, and I challenged myself to read two books per month (book club plus something else I fancied)

Now that my kids are just a little bit older and I’ve returned to part time work, I’m able to be a bit more ambitious in my annual reading goals, but last year it all felt a bit ad hoc – read it when you can / have to, a bit of this, a bit of that. It was chaotic. And although I managed to increase the breadth and quantity of my reading, I didn’t really end the year with any great sense that I had achieved what I would like to reading-wise.

So what to do this year to improve on that?

There have been many New Year’s Reading challenges and frameworks floating around the Internet and social media over the last week, many of which seem to provide interesting and different ways to challenge your reading for the year ahead. So I thought I’d put some of them together in the one place for a bit of inspiration for those of you who are seeking some, as well as some ideas to help you select the actual titles you might have on your list. A few of our staff will be doing these challenges and as always we’re more than happy to help you with suggestions and recommendations throughout the year.

2016 Reading Challenge Ideas

Choose 12 for one book per month, or more or less depending on your time and goals. If none of these take your fancy, just try googling ‘reading challenges’ and you’ll find a plethora of different blog spots and other websites suggesting many other interesting ideas.

The more abstract…

  • a  book published this year / last year / the year you were born

  • a book you can finish in a day

  • a book you’ve always meant to read

  • a book recommended by your local bookseller or librarian

  • a book you should have read in school

  • a book chosen for you by your partner / sibling / child / parent / friend

  • a book that was banned at some point

  • a book you previously failed to finish

  • a book you already own but have never read

  • a book that intimidates you

  • a book that has won an award

  • a book that you read a long time ago (it’s amazing the different ways we experience a book depending on where we’re at in our life at the time we read it).

By genre / subject matter / country of origin…

  • picture storybook or young adult fiction

  • a shorty story collection

  • an Australian classic

  • fiction – crime or thriller, science fiction, fantasy, historical, romance, magical realism…

  • non-fiction – autobiography, biography, history, politics, current affairs, science, philosophy…

  • something translated from a language other than English

  • combine two or more things from the above lists (eg. Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding would be an Australian classic children’s book or Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ series would be crime / thriller and translated a book (from Swedish)).

  • Try Book Bingo (example from– many more available free online)

Or for your habits:

  • Remember the Title & Author of the books you’ve read

  • Remember who you lent a book to

  • Attend a literary or writers festival or go along to an author signing / book launch

  • Remember who lent you a book and return it before 2017

  • Keep a book journal

  • Write an online review

Once you’ve set your challenge, how do you select which book for each category?:

  • Ask your favourite friendly Farrells staff member for a recommendation!

  • Check out our regular best sellers lists

  • Ask your friends and family which books they have loved – or hated! – or found particularly memorable/fun/relaxing/challenging – whatever you’re after

  • Have a look at the national best sellers lists published weekly in the media

  • Keep an eye open for interesting pieces written on classics, new releases or different authors

  • Look at online reviews – just be wary of spoilers!!

  • If you sign up for an online reading challenge (eg. through Goodreads or another site) you end up with a ready-made online book club of other readers with whom you can share your thoughts or feelings about the books.

  • Visit your local library and draw on their experienced librarians

 We wish you all a rewarding year of reading in 2016!!

For the love of book clubs…

I’m not a particularly obsessive person, but one thing that I do love – unapologetically – is my book club.

A small group of us – family and friends and friends of friends and friends of family – started it around six years ago.  Just a group of people, who all loved reading, and were looking for a way to read more and get more out of our reading.  Our membership has waxed and waned over the years as people have moved away, moved closer, had babies, taken on new commitments etc, but I have come to realise that we are (amusingly, if you knew any of us personally), considered a ‘serious’ book club – that is, we don’t just get together to drink wine (although that’s obviously a bonus) – we are there to discuss our book.

We take it in turns to select a book each month, taking December off each year to celebrate with a Christmas dinner and reminisce about the books we’ve read over the course of the year.  It also helps take the pressure off at a busy time of year.  We agonise about what our next choice will be or alternatively have piles of books waiting in the wings for our next turn – should we select a classic?  A new release?  Something obscure?  Something mainstream?  We prepare questions in advance to guide the discussion.  We sometimes have quizzes – with prizes!!  One memorable month (and I wish I still had them to include a picture), one of our members, who happens to work at the State Library, printed all of her questions on little miniature book covers, smaller than matchboxes, of classic titles.  Now THAT’s love and obsession at its finest.

In our first year we tended to share books around, but I’ve personally developed the need to own every one of our book club books.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up in the decades ahead (simply from a space perspective), but for now we have the room and I have become quite anal about them – labelling them by month and year, grouping them in their chronological order.  In six years I’ve only missed 2 discussions (both because, rather inconveniently, I was giving birth), but I still have those 2 books and will read them one day (when I have the time…).  I am also determined to go back and buy those books from the first year that I don’t have – until then my shelves will feel incomplete.

Book club means so much to me for so many reasons – on a monthly basis it is an escape, a stress relief, an accomplishment, an education, a laugh, a cry…and an opportunity to engage in meaningful discourse with other wonderful individuals with varied opinions, personalities and tastes.  It has led me to read books that I would never have otherwise read .  Some I have loved.  Others I have hated.  Some I am indifferent to.  Only once have I made the decision to not finish reading a book because I was so thoroughly despising it (I won’t tell you which one…).  I still maintain it was the right decision.  The brilliant thing about book club is that even if the book is not to your taste, the discussion will often lift it up and give it value that you had not been able to see while reading it.

There is something quite magical about different people coming together and revealing to each other whole new aspects of a book – demonstrating how the human brain and personality can influence how we experience things.  I was once in Somers General Store for lunch and bumped into a long time Farrell’s customer, who would have been in her early 70s.  She started talking about her book club, which at that time had been running – continuously – for 42 years.  And it still had all its original members.  Now that is commitment.  That is love.

That is the shared joy of books.  :).

There are many ways to get involved in a book club if you’re interested – from online groups to community organised ones to just setting something up with your friends as we did.  And I can assure you, it’s well worth it – even if you run out of room on your bookshelves…