About Us

A Short History of Our Shop

From the 1970s Until Today.

A & F McIlreavy Rare & Interesting Books opened for business in High Street Prahran Melbourne 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 moved once again 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 fascinating 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.

An illustration of our dog lulu in the shop by Carolyn Margeryl


Postage and Packaging

This is how we pack and send our books.

Postage is charged at cost and we do our very best to minimise cost, stress and anxiety. We will quote on postage and can organise insurance through Australia Post or privately as required. Registered post or signature on delivery are other options.

Please wait for a quote on International Parcels, we will give you options and will post at cost. We will not ship internationally without your approval on cost, method etc. We can offer shipping by Sea up to Express International Courier.

All payment is in advance.

A set of books, items of rarity or value or a very fragile item will be handled in individual fashion. We rarely have problems during transportation.

You will be notified when your order has been despatched.

Insurance can be arranged if nessasary.

A Standard Book Within Australia

We pack so the book arrives in the same condition it left us.

-First, the Credit card receipt and invoice receipt are added to the book.

-Then they are encased in clear plastic.

-Plastic bubble or stiff cardboard is added.

-Finally this is sent in an Australia Post Bag or in a brown paper package for overseas, with a tracking number.

1.Book with credit card receipt and invoice receipt.

2. They are encased in clear plastic.

3. Plastic bubble wrap or stiff cardboard is added.

4. Sent in an Australia Post Bag or in a brown paper package for overseas, with a tracking number.

Our GuarAntee

We endeavour to ensure that all our descriptions are accurate.

Privacy Policy

We do not share your data & do not store credit card details if you subscribe to our catalogues we will only send you an email when we have new catalogues.

Customer Testimonials.

" The parcel just arrived in perfect condition. It really brightened up my day. I was surprised at how careful and secure the packaging was! It's been a wonderful book hunting experience right from the start,

Thank you!'

Jingyi, Shanghai China

Thank you for sending the book with care. Your customer service is exemplary and I can tell just by the way you respond to my questions

F. Va. USA

"Received yesterday thanks. Lovely book and prompt delivery. Pleasure to deal with you."

Paul, WA

"Book arrived safe this morning and is perfect.

Many thanks"

Geof, UK

"I received the Tropica volume on Monday, faster than I thought. Thank you. Now I can use this unparalleled reference on tropical plants for my art work."

R, New York State


Considering Selling?

We are always looking to buy interesting books from single volumes to houses full.

These are the sorts of books we are really interested in buying.

- First Editions, Modern First Editions.

- Books on unusual subjects.

- Leather Bound Volumes.

- Fine Sets.

- Fine Ephemera.

- Childrens Books.

- Books in very good and fine condition.

- Books of intrinsic interest.

- Folio Society

- If you are uncertain about selling please feel free to contact us our contact details are to the right of this page.

Book Terminology

A Glossary of Terms.

Book Terms When ordering books or looking at booksellers catalogues many terms may at first seem difficult to understand . The best book on the subject remains the classic.

ABC Of Book Collecting by John Carter

This post hopefully will explain a few of the most common terms you will encounter on our site.

Common abbreviations used;

pp. Printed pages. followed by those with and without numbers so pp.viii + 115 , = printed pages 8 pages before the main text + 115 pages main text.

Dust wrapper or dust cover or dust jacket.

The printer wrap around cover separate from the book, it contains the blurb and is very desirable as it completes the book especially with Modern First Edition when the lack of the dust wrapper can make an enormous difference.

The condition is variously described.

Price clipped when the price has been cut off the wrapper.

Nicked, chipped, usually means there is some edge wear.

Torn means a larger damage.

Rear foxing to dust wrapper means there is no damage to the printed face of the dust wrapper but some spotting to the rear.

Facsimile dust wrapper - We have only a had few of these ever, we do not produce them, they are photocopied and used to make a book more appealing when lacking the original dust wrapper. They are usually easy to spot but we always declare them. Now protected means it has a dust wrapper clear plastic cover.

Hardcover, Softcover, in Original Card.

A hardcover is cloth or hard paper bound and can have decoration or gilt so can be described as Very Good hardcover Decorated in Gilt.

Pictorial hardcover means the Edwardian or Victorian bindings with elaborate illustration.

Original laminated is the glossy pictorial modern binding.

Softcover is a paperback but a lot are either trade paperbacks which are the large format.

Mass paperbacks which are the small format. Large quality paperback can be a 4to in a quality form.

In original card is a pamphlet or thin card ephemeric binding, often very beautiful.

Book Sizes

The names of book sizes are based on the old system, still widely used, of considering the size of a page as a fraction of the large sheet of paper on which it was printed. This system is illustrated in Table I below. In printing books, an even number (as 4, 8, 16, 32, 64) of pages is printed on each side of a single large sheet, which is then folded so that the pages are in proper sequence and the outside edges are cut so that the book will open. Except for the largest size, the folio, the name of the size indicates the fractional part of the sheet one page occupies (as octavo “eighth”). In this system, since the fractional name alone cannot denote an exact size, the name of the sheet size precedes the fractional name. Thus royal octavo is understood to designate a page one-eighth the size of a royal sheet, medium octavo a page one-eighth the size of a medium sheet, and crown octavo a page one-eighth the size of a crown sheet. But paper is cut into many sheet sizes and even the terms crown, medium, and royal do not always designate sheets of the same dimensions. Three of the more common sheet sizes have been selected: royal 20 x 25 inches, medium 18 x 23 inches, and crown 15 x 19 inches. Actual page sizes run a little smaller than calculations, since the sheets, when folded to page size, are trimmed at top, outside and bottom, the inside edge becoming part of the binding. British sheet size sometimes differs slightly from American. Table II illustrates the size names as they are used by the American Library Association, with only the octavo sizes including the name of a sheet size. The dimensional limits given in the table remain standard for this system. Table III gives equivalent terms and symbols for the size names.

©Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1966)