Fullers Bookshop was established in 1920, after the First World War, by W. E. (Bill) Fuller. Bill was previously associated with Walches and the booksellers Oldham, Beddom and Meredith (OBM), but eventually set up on his own shop. Ever since, Fullers Bookshop has been a central part of the bookselling and cultural scene in Tasmania. Bill published a Tasmanian Miscellany in the early 1930s, believed to be Fullers’ first publication.
In 1961 the shop was taken over by Cedric and Ian Pearce, famous not only as booksellers but also as jazz musicians. As Hobart grew and rents and locations became difficult, the shop became migratory; in Collins Street before the Cat and Fiddle development, and then to Cat and Fiddle. Cedric became ill and the shop was run down leading to the business being purchased by Ian Drinkwater in 1980. Ian moved Fullers to Murray St in 1981.
Clive Tilsley bought Fullers in 1982. In 1992 Fullers moved back into Collins Street. In 1996 the Afterword Café was established on the mezzanine level of the shop – this moved Fullers onto another level of business. In 2001, Fullers opened a second shop in Launceston where Clive spent 13 years establishing the brand in a very competitive book-buying market.
In 2009 the Hobart shop moved again – up the road to a bright new space (with a fabulous view of the mountain). In 2014, Fullers sold its Launceston shop to Volume 2 books, and at the same time, Clive moved back to Hobart.
In the 30 years under Clive’s guidance, Fullers has confirmed its status as Tasmania’s leading bookseller and a fundamental component of Tasmania’s cultural landscape. With a wide range of author events, readings, discussions and book groups, as well as publishing books on Tasmanian history and flora, Fullers continues to actively contribute to Tasmania’s literary community.