Paradise Bookshop was established by Trefor John in 1992. Trefor is something of an accidental bookseller. Before opening his first bookshop, he had worked on a blast crew in the iron ore mines of north-west Western Australia, and later as a craftsman, a gardener, a factory hand, a builder’s labourer, a barman, a carpenter, a tutor and finally in community arts and adult education. His position as the Country Arts Liaison Officer in the Creative Arts Department of The Council of Adult Education convinced him that he didn’t suit the office.

So he left to set up a bookshop

His first bookshop was in Brunswick Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy more than three decades ago. Since then he has established three more bookshops – Alice’s Bookshop in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, The Avant Garden (now trading as Paradise Bookshop) in Daylesford and Paradise Bookshop in Apollo Bay – and was consultant manager during the establishment of The Horticulture Shop on campus at Burnley Horticultural College. With the exception of The Horticulture Shop, all are extant and thriving to greater or lesser degrees.

In the early nineties he established The Avant Garden in the Central Highlands of Victoria, commuting between city and country shops. Soon after, good sense prevailed and he left the divine decadence of Fitzroy, vying for the bucolic bliss of Daylesford. The bookshop was renamed Paradise Bookshop in 2007. Paradise Bookshop is highly regarded and for many people a trip to Daylesford is not complete without visiting the bookshop.