Explore the 2024 Program

I’m In The Bookshop: The Book Nest Mudgee

In this special series, Sydney Writers’ Festival speaks with bookshops across Australia about the special place they hold in our bookworm hearts. From recommendations on your next great read to their favourite memories in a bookshop, hear from the people many of us trust the most. 

This edition, we speak to Portia Lindsay, Bookseller at The Book Nest Mudgee (pictured below). See the latest news from the store at their website and Instagram: @BookNestMudgee.

What do you love about your bookshop?

We only recently celebrated our first birthday! I love that our bookshop has a local flavour, as the shelves are all made from fallen timber from a nearby farm and we literally built them from scratch as an extended family project. And I love that the items that fill those shelves – our books, games and tea – consistently bring joy and wonder to people of all ages.

What purpose do you feel a bookshop serves in the community?  

Our community was without a bookshop for almost ten years before we opened, and the wave of excitement and gratitude when we popped up was palpable – it really shows how important a physical bookshop can be for a community: the children looking for their next adventure, adults looking for a bookclub, and local authors wanting a home for their books. A bookshop can be a cultural heart for the community, especially in a regional area.

Our community was without a bookshop for almost ten years before we opened, and the wave of excitement and gratitude when we popped up was palpable.

What do you get asked about most by customers? 

What they should read! As a bookseller, there is nothing more satisfying than matching someone with a book and then having them come back for more because they loved your recommendation. And of course I never tire of talking up books that I love!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I just finished Hannah Kent’s new novel Devotion. It is set in the early 1800s as a Lutheran community emigrates from Germany to South Australia and it could be such a brutal story but is an absolutely surprising and beautiful love story. And in children's books my recent favourite is Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby – it's a super-cute and funny book of unlikely friendship for early readers.