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Newcastle’s Betty Loves Books at The Station is turning two

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The latest chapter may have been written two years ago, but the story of Betty Loves Books began well before that. 

This is a narrative about two friends working in Newcastle’s healthcare sector that wrote a fairytale that has since ended up transforming into a celebrated non-fiction. 

Emily Devine and Katie Bleus are a pair of self-confessed bookworms. 

Their dream was to create a unique, independent bookstore in which they could share a passion for literature with likeminded souls. 

What they have created has become so much more. 

Betty Loves Books

As if scripted, their vision took shape within a space at Newcastle’s former railway base, The Station, in June 2022. 

The bricks and mortar shopfront became a beacon for local bookworms seeking fresh inspiration, travellers seeking a beach read, book clubbers wanting a new group as well as accidental shoppers passing through from city to waterfront, or vice versa. 

From a quaint colourful reading nook with a big red dog on its branding, it soon became a haven for book-aholics of all ages. 

And it’s continuing to grow, adding room for more books, author talks, tea, and giftware. 

The Station
Betty Loves Books has recently expanded at The Station

Betty Loves Books is now the only hybrid new and secondhand bookstore in Newcastle, with a carefully curated collection of diverse reads spanning across genres to include everything from translated fiction to First Nations authors, Japanese fiction, food fiction, crime and everything in-between. 

The store’s footprint has grown too, expanding into the space next door, doubling in size, and now spanning the corner of Scott and Watt Streets. 

When Katie and Emily recommend a great read, and the genre is guaranteed to be as diverse as their tastes, the book becomes gospel to their growing number of followers. 

Their very engaged community of readers have become almost like family, offering support every step of the way, while many now author book reviews and recommendations, some write blog posts for the pair, and others keep them in the loop with authors to look out for. 

A growing number of regulars also do special orders through Betty Loves Books, a courtship of true kindred spirits. 

books
New and secondhand books, gifts, teas, jams, and jewellery line the shelves at Betty Loves Books

Last year, the much-loved bookstore sold $5000 worth of art for local artists, its walls now covered in beautiful pieces for sale, continuing the show of support. 

Local authors also have a special part to play in the make-up of the brand, with Katie and Emily proud to stock books written by members of their community. 

A book club on the first Thursday of the month in store, and a co-run silent book club at The Press Coffee and Book House once a month, the pair also donate hundreds of books back to the community through their on-site street library and various street libraries dotted around Newcastle.  

Visiting children are also in for a treat, with free kids’ books in Betty’s book nook. 

Emily and Katie are the brainchild behind Betty Loves Books at The Station

Being asked their favourite book is a question both are familiar with, and for those who want to know for Katie it’s George Orwell’s 1984, for Emily it’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

The duo is also attracting a younger generation of readers, with regular children’s author events designed to ensure a future filled with bookworms. 

When Betty Loves Books celebrates its second birthday in a few months, there will be just one thing missing – Betty. 

The much-loved malamute cross that had a fan-base of names that could fill a novel, has since sadly passed, no doubt to read her books, with a cup of tea, elsewhere. 

Betty Loves Books is turning two

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