Berkeleouw’s Book Barn Treasure

As part of celebrating the anniversary of the very first time we went out to dinner (19 November 1994), we always pay a visit for a couple of hours to Berkeleouw’s Book Barn at Berrima.

Susan and I are bookworms and there is nothing better for bookworms than visiting a bookshop. Although the Book Barn has some new books, it predominantly has used books, which is part of what keeps us coming back.

This visit saw me purchase the following books:

I always seem to come away with at least one Poetry book, and in the last few years the Poetry books have outnumbered the Art-related books, but not this year.

The two Chinese Art-related books jumped out at me as next weekend, I am attending a workshop that is being run by Jo Wong Artist, who is also the new President of the Macarthur Art Group that will be joining shortly.

‘Poetry Now’ is actually a book of Poems where the authors were born within the first 30-40 years of the 20th Century and /Great Artists Explained’ was simply too good a book to leave on the shelf!

I look forward in the coming weeks to grab a cuppa and sit down and investigate all these books more.

Written by David Johnson

27 November 2022

A Day To Relax…

Today, Susan and I went down to Berrima, which is about 1 hour’s drive South of where we live, to celebrate 28 years since we went out to dinner for the first time way back on 19 November 1994. We were a week late in celebrating as we were moving house last week.

After all that has been happening in the last 4-5 months, it was delightful to get away for the day and relax.

As is normal, the first stop is Berkeleouw’s Book Barn which houses approximately 100,000 books. It used to be, however, the help the business survive, they kept a reduced amount of books and added Wedding Receptions, a cafe/restaurant, accommodation, and wine tasting to the business.

We spent just under two hours there and (in a separate post) I’ll talk about the books I purchased.

After Berkeleouws, we had a delicious lunch at Josh’s Cafe and Restaurant which is located in the actual town of Berrima. We have been eating there for many years and are always delighted with the food, service, and atmosphere.

From there, we ventured into a few shops (as we normally do), including ‘Mrs. OldBucks’ (jams, sauces, honey, teas, etc), ‘Six Impossible Things’ (various boutique items including writing materials, dip pens, ink, journals, books, and other tourist-inspired goodies). Our last stop was ‘Sticky Beaks Vintage Emporium which consists of a number of smaller antique sellers within a larger shop.

All-in-all a very relaxing day that helped us celebrate one of the most special days in our lives!

Looking forward to next year’s celebration!

Written by David Johnson

26 November 2022

25th Anniversary!

Last month, it marked 25 years since Susan and I went out to dinner for the first time. Every year since, we’ve celebrated the occasion by spending either the weekend or the day on or close to the day in November. We’ve been married now for over 22 years.


We normally celebrate it in Berrima, NSW as it was in Berrima that Susan finally said yes to going out with me (after saying no, 5 times). What changed, you might ask? There’s a little more to it but that’s a story for another day.

Berrima, as ‘Aussie Towns’ states is ‘a historic village driven by tourism and handicrafts surrounded by farming and grazing, coal mining and cement manufacture.’

We always have a meal or two down there and although the order of things has changed over the years, there are shops/places within the town that we always visit and others that ‘come and go.’

One such place we used to love was ’Sprinkles’, a Christmas shop with all manner of decorations for sale including those charming musical and voice or movement-activated decorations. It was such a treat and we used to by a special decoration there each year. Sadly, the owner retired a couple of years ago and closed it down.

Another special place is Berkeleouw’s Book Barn which used to have 300,000 second-hand books. It now only holds 200,000 as the owners diversified (to stay afloat). It now has a Wedding Reception Centre, a Wine-Tasting facility and a coffee alcove and a restaurant where the eating space can be enlarged as some of the sturdy bookshelves are on wheels, thus can be wheeled towards the other bookshelves that line the walls to create more room for tables.

Berkeleouw’s Book Barn

As a bookshop it has a different charm now to what it used to have. Not better, just different and we still enjoy ‘unearthing book treasure there!’ It’s great that they also retained the grand, old fireplace which is surely needed in the colder months in the Southern Highlands.


There are many other shops, including ‘Mrs Old Bucks Pantry’, ’Six Impossible Things’,’The Bay Tree Gallery’ (that has a wide variety of Artistic endeavours on display/sale’, ’Sticky Beaks Vintage Emporium’ (which is like 10 shops in one), ’The Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop’, ‘The Brown Shutter’ but to name a few.

As you can see, we love our trips to Berrima. It’s a special time for us and our visits there have added so many more special memories along the way.

Written by David Johnson