Let’s face it, for most of us a perfect holiday escape inevitably involves reading a book. Reading by the fire, reading in bed, reading outdoors, and reading with a cup of tea, hot chocolate or a glass of wine are perfect ways to relax and unwind.
To help you find the perfect holiday fix, we’ve put together a list of some of the best book stores and reading spots in the Upper Blue Mountains.
Start your book worm tour at Lamdha Books (1/32 Station St, Wentworth Falls). This is a great second hand bookstore, specialising in arts and humanities. Although it is small, the owner is attentive and can rattle off available book titles in any topic of interest. Service is fantastic, selection interesting and prices are great. Best value for money and it is easy to pick up several great reads in a single visit.
The next stop is Megalong Books (183 The Mall, Leura). This beautiful store stocks new books that are so fabulous you will be lucky to escape with cash still left in your wallet. The store has several rooms and specialises in books for children, publications about the Blue Mountains, and art books. Staff are knowledgeable and helpful. Great range of books. Most drool worthy collection.
Mr Pickwicks Fine Old Books (86 Katoomba St) specialises in rare and antiquarian books. They have lots of books, more than 60,000 in fact. The store is massive, spread across several stories and also houses a range of antiques. Best of all, it opens late on Friday and Saturday night so makes a great stop off point after a dinner date. You can easily spend hours in this store exploring, and staff are happy for you to wander and browse at your leisure. You’ll find quirky and rare pieces, and it’s a great place to pick up that out of print book you have been searching for. Prices are high, particularly for second hand books, so you’ll probably only purchase one rare gem.
Vinnies and Salvation Army Op Shops, both located on Waratah Street in Katoomba, are good spots for cheap reads. Vinnies has a small collection and you can usually buy a whole bag of books for $5 or $10. The Salvation Army has slightly higher prices but a larger selection available. Great spot to pick up something quickly for a small amount of dosh.
Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation Op Shop is located on Bathurst St and donates all its proceeds to charity. They have a whole room dedicated to books and lots of great titles on offer. Prices are reasonable, so why not grab a whole bagful of books and support a worthwhile cause?
The newly constructed Katoomba Library on Katoomba Street is gorgeous with views across the mountains. If you have time to kill, grab a book and curl up in one of the many reading nooks. Of course, it’s free to visit, and the central heating makes it a very appealing place during the cool winter months.
The Victory Theatre at Blackheath (Govett’s Leap Rd) is a massive antique and collectables market. Many stallholders stock vintage, quirky or Australiana books that are reasonably priced. Worth a look.
Next door is Gleebooks, a decent bookshop with lots of art, humanitarian and alternative books. Most books are new but there is a small secondhand section that is reasonably priced.
Last of all, don’t forget the local markets that happen across the Blue Mountains each weekend. There are handfuls of book purveyors, particularly those focusing on esoteric collections, at each market and prices are reasonably cheap.
There you have it, now you’ve got some great reads, find a fireplace or a scenic lookout, sit back and enjoy!