Second Hand Bookshops in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains has a large number of bookshops selling both New Books and Second Hand Books. There are also a number of Antique and Charity shops that have book sections that are well worth checking out. In this article we will focus on the Second Hand Bookshops and will follow it up at a later date exploring those selling New Books of which there are several excellent ones.
Top 5 Blue Mountains Second Hand Bookshops
- Brown Books – Springwood
- Lamdha Books – Wentworth Falls
- Mr Pickwicks – Katoomba
- Gleebooks – Blackheath
- Blue Dragon – Glenbrook
The Blue Mountains of course has both strong Writer and Reader Communities. It’s readers are well served by the numerous Branches of the Blue Mountains Library and with many Book Launches, Discussion Forum, Writer Talks & Public Events all over the Mountains. The Varuna Writers Centre is known world wide and now hosts events for the Sydney Writers Festival. There are also many famous writers associated with the Blue Mountains including – Eleanor Dark, Kylie Tennant, Kit Denton, Kate Llewellyn, Richard Neville, Delia Falconer and of course Norman Lindsay.
And as a major Australian Tourist attraction, visited by 4 million people a year, the Blue Mountains is also very conducive to curling up with a good book in front of a fire on a weekend escape or to a lazy reading session in a quiet location. It’s perfect to grab a few hours to knock off that book you always meant to finish or to tackle the treasure you just located in the Antiquarian section of a local shop.
And that is the beauty of the Blue Mountains Second Hand Bookshops. The books available range from one read “airport novels” & racy “page turners” to dusty volumes that have possibly been sitting in a mountains holiday house or stately home for over a hundred years.
Over the 35 years I’ve been exploring here, I’ve found many treasures in the Blue Mountains Second Hand Bookshops. Some great art books, history books and a few very collectable first editions.
There is also quite a good supply of “Remainder Books”, dumped by the major publishing houses out of their catalogues, but still in excellent condition and reasonably priced.
So here are a selection of my favourite places. As usual here on Blue Mountains Insider, we start at the bottom of the Mountains and work our way upwards.
The Best Blue Mountains Second Hand Book Shops
Penrith – Elizabeth Arcade Books
Though not strictly in the Blue Mountains, Elizabeth Arcade Books in Penrith is quite a good resource. It’s nestled in one of many fascinating arcades that run off High Street in Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
It covers your standard fare – but has quite a good volume of books and there is always something to discover.
It’s probably not worth a specific trip into Penrith just to go there, but if your travels do take you into the area it’s would be worth checking out. Penrith is a big sprawling complicated area which needs a bit of time, as apposed to the other Blue Mountains locations mentioned in the article.
Elizabeth Arcade, 461 High Street Phone 0401 693 532
Glenbrook – Blue Dragon Books
The village of Glenbrook has an excellent bookshop, with what seems like a mix of New, Remainder and Second Hand titles. It’s got plenty of space, a relaxed atmosphere and some excellent bargains.
There is a good range of Children’s books, Art, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, History and Local interest. There is also a nice section of Plays & Poetry.
You’ll also find a great selection of cafe’s nearby, so it’s well worth turning off the highway into the village immediately after you get up the first major climb, the Lapstone Hill. Lapstone is also the site of the big new Blue Mountains Tourist Information Centre.
Shop C / 11 Ross St 02 4739 2466
If you are travelling into the Blue Mountains on an official Long Weekend Holiday, you may be able to attend the interesting Book, Record & Old Wares Fair organised by Revolve Records. These take place at the Glenbrook Community Centre. You’ll see big banners advertising the event near the Visitor Centre.
As the name suggests there is a huge selection of Music & Books. They also hold the event at other times of the year, (pre Xmas?) so watch out as you get near the Visitor Centre or check out their website.
Blaxland – Vinnies
A fairly large charity shop by Blue Mountains standards, that fronts onto the Great Western Highway in the main shopping strip of Blaxland. It actually has 2 levels and there is plenty of parking around the back that gives you access to the lower level. The small book section is at the rear of the top level.
It often has a good selection of Cookbooks, Biographies plus the usual Charity Shop fare. While you are there, don’t forget to checkout the downstairs section, with larger furniture and a small record section that sometimes has a few surprises.
132A Great Western Highway Blaxland. PH: 02 4739 8402
Springwood has a lot to offer and is well worth turning off the highway to visit.
63 Macquarie Rd,
Springwood NSW 2777
You’ll see this on the right just before you get into town.
There is a large book section at the rear with a great range of books. These look like a mix of donations and remainder book, quite a lot in as new condition.
Springwood – Brown Books
I really like Brown Books. It’s been operating for over 25 years and changed hands a few years ago, but is still going strong with it’s large collection of titles. It has some antiquarian gems, lots of classics, Aus Lit, history, mystery and more standard fare.
As a collector of ephemera myself, I love the old pamphlets, brochures and magazines displayed around the shop. There’s a big Penguin Books collection and apparently a good supply of Superhero comics.
In other words, it’s a treasure trove and well worth a visit!
You may get confused by the excellent Turning Page Bookshop which is at the front of the arcade. This is also a brilliant bookshop, but it is deals in New Books. Brown Books is a bit further down the arcade on the left.
4/125 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777
While you are at this end of town, check out the Cassiopeia coffee shop in the arcade just up the road. It’s highly rated amongst the locals, and in fact features on our Top 7 Coffee Spots in the Blue Mountains!
2/127 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777
Springwood – Springwood Book Lounge
At the other end of Springwood is the Springwood Book Lounge. This is a smaller shop than Brown Books but it has a nice range of interesting titles. Being situated close to the railway station, I’m sure it is well used by commuters.
Last time I visited I saw a good Sci-Fi / Fantasy section, History, Military and many bestsellers.
2/252-258 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777
While you are at this end of town, you might as well take another minute and walk further down to the Vinnies just before the last of the shops. They have a reasonable selection of books inside the door. Like all Charity Shops it’s a bit of a jumble, but I have scored a few interesting things over the years.
Wentworth Falls – Lamdha Books
This place is excellent! A great range of general Second Hand and Rare books.
I love the fact that they also only stock subjects they know about and like! So you won’t find categories like True Crime or Self Help books for instance.
You’ll find History, Literature, Music, Modern Classics and Humanities. It also stocks music CD’s with a strong selection of Jazz, World Music and Classical.
The business is for sale at the moment, hopefully someone with similar tastes will take over and keep the excellent business running.
There was a recent news story about the shop here .
You turn right into Station Street from the Great Western Highway and you’ll find the bookshop on the left towards the end of the small section of shops.
32 Station Street 02 4757 1420
Katoomba – Mr Pickwicks
Located downstairs in the large antique market in the main street, this is probably the biggest Blue Mountains Second Hand Bookshop.
It has a huge range of Antiquarian, rare, collectable and specialist books.
Art, History, Explorers, Local History, Literature, War, Travel Guides and a whole lot more.
85 Katoomba St, Katoomba. PH: 02 4782 7598.
Gleebooks is a Sydney institution for readers! Their decades old inner city flagship store in Glebe has spawned this Blue Mountains off shoot of two linked stores. The front one sells New Books while the smaller one slightly further up the arcade deals in nice second hand titles.
The emphasis changes over time but usually a good selection of Literature.
Collier’s Arcade, 21-25 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath. PH: 02 4787 6340.
Blackheath – Victory Theatre
A large multi dealer Antique and Collectables market situated in an old Theatre Building. It has quite a few Second Hand and Collectible books so it’s well worth a browse.
19-21 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath PH: 02 4787 6002
There are a number of other small antique shops in the village plus a charity shop in Station Street.