Opened in 1998 as “Pre-loved Books” with just a few hundred books, the new used bookstore filled a niche on Lithgow Main Street. When current owner, Paul Phillips, got involved in 2000, the bookstore began to expand into what it is today. Paul brought with him not only the influx of thousands of new titles, but also his expert knowledge and personalized recommendations that continue to bring readers back again and again.
In 2007, when Paul took over ownership, he wanted to rechristen the store and his son Jesse (ten at the time) had just the name. A Reader’s Heaven still provided ‘pre-loved’ books for sale and trade, but under new management, the store became a place for family and community.
When Angus and Robinson closed in 2011, A Reader’s Heaven took on the role of the bookstore in Lithgow and began offering new books as well. Orders came in and the bookstore was established as the place to congregate for conversation, current events, and of course, your next great read.
In April 2014, A Reader’s Heaven outgrew the small Main Street store, and after sixteen years, moved to the larger location on Mort Street. Serving as the university bookshop, a community gathering place, and an art gallery, the Mort Street location, has allowed A Reader’s Heaven to serve Lithgow in new and better ways.
Take a tour with us and wonder around the maze of bookshelves. Pick out a book and have a seat in one of our comfy chairs while you browse the pages. The local section and uni texts line a long aisle by the window and deep in the back is our Kid’s Corner, with great young adult titles, a giant colourful couch for reading, and toys to play with.
The larger space allowed us to host pop-up art gallery space and to support local events. Every few weeks, another local artist or event fills the space with colour, art, and community.
Shortly after opening, Paul married Jo in the bookstore with a now grown Jesse as his best man. The visa stuff took Jo out of the country and while away, Vianne joined her in Canada.
Now that the whole family is home and together in the new bookshop, we’re very excited about the future. The Kids Corner was newly renovated in 2016 and is the perfect backdrop for our monthly story times. The third Saturday of every month, join us for a light morning tea, colouring in and stories beginning at 11am. All ages are welcome.
We launched our new art supplies section in 2016, which compliments the pop-up art galleries immensely.
In April 2016, we donated a $1 from every book sold to the local Lithgow Women and Children Crisis Center. It was a great honour to lend our support to such a great cause.
We also launched our very first Kingdom of Ironfest Author in Residence contest in 2016 as well as an art contest in conjunction with Ironfest Inc.. More author signings, more pop-up galleries, more events; it’s all so exciting.
As A Reader’s family grows, the store is growing along with it. Bigger and brighter, but still full of that hometown charm, community, and family love, A Reader’s Heaven is looking forward to the next eighteen years and more.