A Short History of Our Shop

From the 70s Till Today.

A & F McIlreavy Rare & Interesting Books opened for business in High Street Prahran in 1977.

High Street Prahran '77

A year later we moved down the street, with the help of friends, to our second shop (below). In a row were Peter Arnold, Gaston Renard and our little shop.

High Street Prahran '78

After the unfortunate death of our landlady we again moved to Kings Arcade in High Street Armadale in the centre of Melbourne’s booming Antiques Trade. During this period we were members of ANZAAB and organised fairs for the association, we also took part in many of Melbournes thriving Antique Fairs, Kew, The Palais, Boxhill and Caulfield to name a few.

Kings Arcade High Street Armadale '80

In 1984 we moved back to Scotland where we had 16 very happy years in South Street in St Andrews. We were proud members of The Antiquarian Booksellers Association where Fiona was on the Scottish Committee for a number of years and helped organise the Edinburgh Book Fairs, participated in the London fairs and have many happy memories of the business and the trade. St Andrews had a very rich history and dealing within and around the ancient city turned up many facinating finds, stories and memories.

South Street St Andrews '84-2000

We returned to Australia in 2000 moving to another historic town Buderim, on Queenslands beautiful Sunshine Coast, one of the oldest towns on the Sunshine Coast and one with a pioneering history of timber men, plantations, ginger, railroads and rainforest. Our shop is a hub for like minded book people and the couch is usually occupied by customers or our saluki, lulu who has a bit of a following in the village. We decided to change the name of the shop as Buderim Rare Books seemed more fitting for the place and the time.

Buderim Rare Books Burnett St Buderim Queensland 2010

Note these images of the interior of the shop are from the early days prior to the mass migration of books from the community.

We have had many happy years in Buderim and we love the Sunshine Coast. The magic of Buderim has a way of growing on you over time and we are building up a healthy clientelle. The mountain thrives as ever and the future of the shop remains to be seen but we hope we can remain here for many years to come.

Our Staff

The ancient creatures that exist within the shop.

Fiona McIlreavy

Fiona started her life as an antiquarian bookseller in 1973/1974 as an employee of Kenneth Hince Rare Books in Melbourne and has been stacking paper ever since. Fiona runs the shop, manages the web site and completes most of the tasks nessasary for the running of a successful business.

Alan McIlreavy

Alan McIlreavy started in the trade in 1979 when he joined Fiona in what became A&F McIlreavy Rare and Interesting Books. Alan contributes these days mainly by cataloging and binding, framing prints and buying.

Gordon McIlreavy

Does his best to avoid doing any form of tech support, including running and maintaining the web site.


Lulu is easily the most popular person in the shop and has a far more fans than most politicians, you can often find her spending time on the couch or under the desk. She accepts pats as long as you are gentle and do not pull her ears, tail or expect her to play fetch.


Is the second most popular person involved in the business. We are currently training him not to chew books.


Address: Shop 8/61 Burnett St Buderim Queensland Australia

Phone: 07 54771306

Email: afmcilreavy@gmail.com

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