Our story

Our story:

BabelBooks was set up to provide the Australian community with an affordable and convenient source of books in several languages.

It all started at home when our bookshelves started overflowing: we initially donated and lent some of our precious French and Spanish books to friends. When we wanted to reach beyond our friends and tried to donate books to local libraries, we hit a dead-end due to their limited shelf space. Selling books on Gumtree or Facebook was soon deemed too time consuming, and throwing books away was anathema to our family.

So I started thinking about how to recycle books in a professional way and looked at business models overseas. I met with Recyclivre.com while in France in early 2020: they were a real source of inspiration, and discussing with them convinced me to give it a go in Australia.

And now, here is BabelBooks, an online bookstore with affordable pre-loved books in several languages.

I am also proud to have the opportunity to help First Nations protect their languages and their heritage - and actually every Australian's heritage. It had been in the back of my mind since an intense discussion on this topic with an elder at the Victorian Honour Roll of Women event in 2018.

As the french saying goes: "les petits ruisseaux font les grandes rivières" or "Tall oaks from little acorns grow" as a linguist kindly translated for us!

Here is how we work:

BabelBooks promotes a circular economy as the books we sell have been generously donated by individuals and organisations. If you would like to part with some of your book collections, we would love to hear from you: get in touch with us now

The books we receive are carefully reviewed - and quarantined for 14 days currently - so that you can select the condition you like, if we have it in stock. Our book condition guide details the various condition categories. 

BabelBooks provides collections in French and in English - and a budding Spanish range.

We believe that reading a book should not cost the earth. Try buying pre-loved books and watch your budget stretch a little further! And when you choose us, you also:

  • reduce your carbon footprint as books are sourced and shipped from our beautiful continent,
  • support a significant literacy organisation in Australia: we donate 10% of our sales to Magabala Books, Australia's leading Indigenous publisher. This is our contribution to help preserve our unique and invaluable heritage, via the publication of bilingual books or books in First Nations' languages. 

We look closely at our own carbon footprint and have chosen to partner with Sendle, Australia's first 100% carbon neutral shipping service. We use compostable and recyclable packaging, so make sure you discard our packaging in the appropriate bin (Sendle's satchels are 100% compostable - our worms love them!).

And lastly, we value your feedback: we are just getting started and welcome your suggestions at contact@babelbooks.com.au.

Happy reading!

Sabine Dejey