Folio Books, Brisbane’s Iconic Bookstore, Turns the Final Page After 41 Years

After 41 years, Folio Books, the iconic bookstore that has welcomed generations of booklovers in Brisbane, has turned the final page and announced its permanent closure. 

In a message to its customers, owners Angelos, Jenny and Alexis Kakoulidis said that they’ve made the firm decision not to reopen following the demolition of its last site on Mary Street early this year. 

Folio Books was supposed to relocate in autumn to a new home after its lease on Mary Street ended. Since the building owner filed a development application to turn the old site into a new office tower with food and drink outlets, the bookstore owners’ original plan was to transition into a new location.  

Yes as the Kakoulidis siblings said that whilst they’ve weathered through floods, two relocations, the Global Financial Crisis, the rise of international online book retailers, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest strain in their business has made them rethink their priorities as a family. 

“For us, it has been an incredible journey to this point, and it has been a pleasure to have shared our passion of books with you all – we take away so many wonderful memories and experiences, and for that we thank you,” the owners said.

“We hope that we created a unique experience for you when visiting our bookstore – a haven away from the busyness of life, where you could be inspired, excited or challenged by what lies between the front and back cover of a book.  Being with books daily, and talking about books with our customers, has been an extraordinary experience which we will greatly miss.”

The beloved bookstore, which was first located on Elizabeth Street in the CBD, was known for its unique, offbeat titles across genres, from philosophy to architecture. Since it opened in 1979, Folio Books stuck with its business model for the next four decades as the only bookstore in Brisbane that doesn’t sell notepads, cards, stationery, or office and school items  — just books.