Blue Mountains Books

The Guide to Books in the Blue Mountains.

 

In this comprehensive article we cover …

  • The Blue Mountains Bookshops, both New Books & Second hand Books
  • Books about the Blue Mountains – Non Fiction, Guides, History,
  • Fiction featuring the Blue Mountains
  • Blue Mountains Writers and their books
  • Varuna Writers Center and Blue Mountains Writers Festival
  • The Blue Mountains Libraries – Locations, Services, Times
  • and more!

Blue Mountains Bookshops

Second Hand Books

This one is easy, it was one of the first comprehensive articles we put up on this site and has proved to be one of the most popular articles!

We list our pick of the Top 5 Blue Mountains Second Hand book shops and a guide to 12 shops worth a visit!

That Article is HERE

Blue Mountains Bookshops – New Books

Blue Mountains residents and visitors must be avid readers as the region supports several great Bookshops.

These are the Top Three!

  • The Turning Page Bookshop, Springwood
  • Megalong Books, Leura
  • Gleebooks, Blackheath

To survive as a physical bookshop in a digital world these three shops must be doing something right.  They all offer –

  • Great Selections
  • Great Advice & Service
  • Clearly have a Love of Books
  • Support Local Authors
  • Stock extensive Blue Mountains titles
  • Support both the avid local reader and the walk in Tourist.

A few Notes on each.

The Turning Page Bookshop – Springwood

This is a great bookshop!

They have been serving the Mountains community for over 35 years. They relocated a few years ago from one side of Macquarie St, Springwood, to the other side, so don’t get confused if you haven’t been there for some time.

All the usual hot authors and latest titles and they pride themselves on catering to both the casual reader and the serious bookworm. They are particularly strong on Blue Mountains titles and I’m always impressed when I look at the section packed with Bushwalking guides that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

After you’ve finished at Turning Page, stick your head into Brown Books, further up the arcade for their great selection of their Second Hand titles.

1/125 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777

http://www.indies.com.au/TheTurningPageBookshop

Megalong Books – Leura

Located right in the bustling heart of Leura, you’ll find this shop on the right hand side of the main street towards the bottom. They always have a great, tempting window display in this older heritage building.

There’s plenty to browse, a big children’s section, and they are strong on Blue Mountains History, Guide Books, souvenir books etc.

If I had one criticism of the shop, it is that it is quite tightly packed to make the most of the space available and combined with the tourist numbers in Leura, it can get a bit squeezy at times.

183 Leura Mall, Leura NSW 2780

https://www.megalongbooks.com.au

 

Gleebooks – Blackheath

Gleebooks Blackheath is a branch of the highly popular Gleebooks in Sydney and takes up a light and airy modern corner shop on the right hand side going down Govetts Leap Rd in the main village section. It’s the same side as the Victory Theatre.

Plenty of current titles, hot authors and what always seem like a huge amount of chunky cookbooks. I don’t think it’s as big as Turning Page down in Springwood. However, they have a Second Hand Books  outlet slightly further up the arcade as well.

There are also quite a few second hand books available in the Victory Theatre Antique Market as well.

Shop1, Collier’s Arcade Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath NSW 2785

http://www.gleebooks.com.au

Other Blue Mountains Bookshops

The Little Lost Bookshop – Katoomba

This is a small but perfectly formed shop in Ha’Penny Lane Katoomba. They describe themselves as eclectic. You can check out their website for a feel for what they like, but it’s best to pop in yourself and support them.

(Note – Their website still lists their location as Town Center Arcade, so I don’t knowhow regularly the site gets updated.)

Ha’Penny Lane  Katoomba Street, Katoomba, NSW 2780

They are quite close to the excellent Blue Mountains Food Co-op

https://littlelostbookshop.com.au

 

(Note – There are a few other specialist and online bookshops based in the Blue Mountains that we will be adding here soon. If we have not mentioned your bookshop in this article or in the one on Second Hand Books, please let us know, via the contact page.)

 

Blue Mountains Writers

Probably the first people to start writing about the Blue Mountains were the explorers and then travellers.

Check out our extensive Blue Mountains Quotes article to get some short Snippits from some of the early visitors to the area – Watkin Tench, Blaxland & Wentworth, Charles Darwin and many more.

Luckily, some of the early fiction that was set in the Blue Mountains is now available via public domain depositories.

The Treasure Cave of the Blue Mountains by Oliphant Smeaton was first published about 1898 is possibly one of the first.

Norman Lindsay

Probably the most famous of the many Blue Mountains writers over the years was the creative talent of Norman Lindsay.

Known for his Painting, Prints and what was viewed at the time as a fairly racy lifestyle, in many ways his most enduring creation was the children’s book “The Magic Pudding.” Lindsay wrote and illustrated the Australian Classic in 1918 and it has remained in print ever since.

Click on a cover for more information and Amazon pricing.

While he is most remembered for that work, he wrote many other novels and stories. The Norman Lindsay Gallery in Faulconbridge is a must visit location for anyone with an interest in the arts in Australia and we discuss it in details HERE.

Eleanor Dark – The Timeless Land Trilogy

Of all the books written in or related to the Blue Mountains, Eleanor Dark’s Timeless Land Trilogy is perhaps the most important and in many ways has had the most lasting impact.

Eleanor was born in Sydney in and moved to the Mountains after her marriage to Eric Dark, a prominent Doctor and political figure. She authored 10 novels, the most famous being Prelude to Christopher, Return to Coolami, and the Timeless Land Trilogy.

The Trilogy comprises of  –  The Timeless Land  (1941), Storm of Time (1948) and No Barrier (1953).

Click on a cover for more information and Amazon pricing.

The books, works of historical fiction, start at the beginning of the European settlement in Sydney, some of it told through the aboriginal perspective, and they progress from there. The first two parts received wide acclaim both in Australia and in the USA where it was also published and became a Book of the Month Club selection.

Varuna The WritersHouse

After Eleanor and Eric Dark passed away the expansive family home, Varuna in Katoomba, was inherited by their son Michael. In an extraordinary act of philanthropy, he soon donated the property to the writers of Australia. The Varuna Writers Centre was formed to manage the property and they run hugely popular workshops, residencies, programs and scholarships.

www.varuna.com.au

Blue Mountains Writers Festival

It has just been announced that Varuna will be soon running their own Blue Mountains Writers Festival. They have for several years been part of the very popular Sydney Writers Festival but will now be striking out on their own.

Other prominent Blue Mountains Authors

Other prominent Authors to call the Blue Mountains home include …

Jennifer Rowe, Kylie Tennant, Kit Denton, Kate Llewellyn, Richard Neville, Dorothy Hewitt, Delia Falconer and many more.

Delia Falconer’s The Service of Clouds caused a stir when it was published back in 1997, becoming a best seller and was shortlisted for 5 major literary awards. It’s a set in the Blue Mountains in 1907.

Click on a cover for more information and Amazon pricing.

Other Blue Mountains authors who have been recognised in the prestigious Miles Franklin Award include Tom Flood who won it in 1990 for Oceana Fine, Trevor Shearston who was longlisted in 2014 and Mark O’Flynn for The Last Days of Ava Langdon, another novel set here in the Blue Mountains.


Pinerolo – The Childrens Book Cottage

I must admit to not knowing much about Pinerolo, but if you are interested in Childrens Books, they run a series of Workshops and offer various services to Children’s Authors and Illustrators

You can visit their Website here.

https://www.pinerolo.com.au

 

The Blue Mountains Libraries – Locations, Services, Times

 

The City of the Blue Mountains is well served by it’s network of Libraries throughout the Mountains.

Like Libraries worldwide over the last 30 years or so they are evolving and changing. No longer just the keeper of books, they are reinventing themselves as places of knowledge, delivered in many different ways and they often serve as community hubs.

Access to the Internet of course is now possible at all libraries, which is useful for both residents and travellers alike.

There are 6 Libraries in the network all linked with a common catalogue and good online services.

They also have the unique “Book Express” service, that sets up 3 times a week at two local train stations to provide reading material to train commuters!

We have a complete list of the Blue Mountains Libraries below.

Notes on the Blue Mountains Libraries

The biggest two libraries are Katoomba and Springwood, reflecting the size of the towns.

Katoomba Library shares space inside the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre complex and is a fairly new space. It’s light and airy and has a lot going on. There is WiFi right through the building.

Springwood Library was revamped a couple of years ago and now sits adjoined to the Blue Mountains Theatre. It’s also a great space and has a strong Local Studies group.

If you are at that end of Springwood, check out the historic Braemar House next door if it’s open, a great Community Gallery. On the other side is the Oriental Hotel, “The Ori” to the locals. Excellent pub food and interesting history.  The Turning Page Bookshop and Brown Books are about 2 minutes away across the road, as is Cassiopeia for some of the best coffee in the Mountains.

The other 4 Blue Mountains Library branches are much smaller.

Blaxland Library can be a bit tricky to find, it’s not on the main street, but tucked away in the street that runs behind the main shopping strip. Turn left at the big intersection opposite McDonalds.

The Lawson Library is located in the historic Shire Offices and is worth a look if you are an architecture fan. Built in 1915 and very much in the style of the day. Some good stone and brickwork. The smaller shires that made up the Mountains were amalgamated in the late 1940’s and luckily so far this building has remained to serve the growing Mid Mountain Community.

Likewise, the Wentworth Falls Library is located in a much larger historic School of Arts Building right on the Great Western Highway and is equally interesting on both an architectural and social history level. It was also built around 1914-15.

The School of Arts  in Australia

If you do any driving around Australia, you’ll soon start to spot a familiar building in a lot of regional towns and cities. The School of Arts or Mechanics Institute.

The movement began in Scotland in the very early 1800’s when lectures were provided, free of charge, to trades people to teach them more about the scientific principles behind what they were doing and to generally improve their education. They proved very popular and they soon started appearing around the world.

By the late 1820’s and mid 1830’s there were already several in Australia and it is thought that there may have been over 2,500 at their peak. They basic concept can also be seen as a “Miners Institute” “Railway Institute” or “Free Library” etc.

You will pass a wonderful “Mechanics Institute” just before you drive into Lawson, that was only just saved from demolition a few years ago by the hard work of the local community.

Note –  the “Arts” in School of Arts, refers to the manual trade that they were employed doing, rather than the painting or sketching etc that we might imagine today.

There is good information about the whole School of Arts Movement in Australia at this website. https://amisa.org.au/school-of-arts-history/

 

Blue Mountains Library Directory

Main Blue Mountains Library Website

https://library.bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Blaxland Library
33 Hope St, Blaxland
Phone: (02) 4739 4284

Monday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Tuesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Wednesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Thursday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday Closed

 

Springwood Central Library
104 Macquarie Road, Springwood
Phone: (02) 4723 5040

Monday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Tuesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Wednesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Thursday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday Closed

 

Lawson Library
Cnr San Jose Ave and Loftus St, Lawson
Phone: (02) 4780 5903

Monday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sunday Closed

 

Wentworth Falls Library
School of Arts Building
Great Western Hwy, Wentworth Falls
Phone: (02) 4780 5902

Monday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday 10:00am- 2:00pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am- 2:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sunday Closed

 

Katoomba Library
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
30 Parke St, Katoomba
Phone: (02) 4780 5750

Monday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm

 

Blackheath Library
Community Hall
Great Western Hwy, Blackheath
Phone: (02) 4780 5901

Monday 10:00am- 2:00pm
Tuesday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10:00am- 2:00pm
Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sunday Closed

 

Book Express

Springwood Railway Station

Monday    6:15am – 8:00am
Thursday  6:15am – 8:00am

Katoomba Railway Station

Tuesday    5:45am – 7:30am

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The Guide to Books in the Blue Mountains.   In this comprehensive article we cover … The Blue Mountains Bookshops, both New Books & Second hand Books Books about the Blue Mountains - Non Fiction, Guides, History, Fiction featuring the Blue Mountains…