Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Vale Beth Noble

Beth Noble, former owner of the Bay Bookshop in Bateman’s Bay, south coast NSW, died in Nyngan on Monday, 18 May. Noble was 69.

The Bay Bookshop, which won Bookshop of the Year at the inaugural Leading Edge Book Conference in 2000, was opened by Beth and her husband Peter Harris in 1994. They sold the shop in 2011.

Shearer’s Bookshop owner Barbara Horgan writes:

‘Vale Beth Noble, a tremendous bookseller and a courageously strong lady.

‘Beth was a trained teacher and her dream was to own a bookshop. With Peter, Beth set up and ran the Bay Bookshop with enthusiasm, skill and a fabulous customer service ethos. Beth’s communication skills with and knowledge of her customers, especially with children, always inspired me.

‘Tony and I loved catching up with Beth and Peter at many events and conferences. Our many weekends down south talking about books, the book industry and the state of the world are so memorable. We always returned to Sydney relaxed and invigorated.

‘Peter’s loving care of Beth over the past years has been amazing. My deepest sympathy to Peter and Beth’s family.’

Lindfield Bookshop owner Scott Whitmont writes:

‘One reason over many years that I would look forward to attending Leading Edge conferences and NSW bookseller catalogue planning meetings was that I knew I would be greeted by the smiling face of Beth Noble with Peter, more than often than not, smiling and waving behind her!

‘No matter what industry dark clouds may have been overhead with potential to get us down, Beth never failed to maintain a seemingly permanent smile and a warm, welcoming demeanour, always keen to catch up and exchange bookselling ideas or sincerely offer advice and assistance when she could. As a bookseller and a friend she’ll be long remembered and sorely missed by all who crossed her path.’

Allen & Unwin group sales director Matt Hoy writes:

‘Beth was always a friendly face at every event. Forever interested in what everyone was reading and loving. She was a wonderful bookseller who enhanced the lives of all who knew her.’

HarperCollins accounts manager Steve Howard writes:

‘I’m deeply saddened to hear of Beth’s passing. One of the great joys of a South Coast sales trip was getting to sit down with Beth (and sometimes Peter) and talk books. Beth was a very sweet and engaging lady. RIP Beth and find a sunny corner where you can sit down and read. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.’


Category: Obituaries