Posted by: Katie B | September 17, 2010

The Town Bookstore – A Rare Gem

Westfield, NJ has a hidden gem tucked along the edge of its main street.  It’s called The Town Bookstore.  Have you been recently?  It’s what a bookstore, and a book buying experience, should be.  It smells like books.  It has tight, maze-like spaces teetering with crisp, shiny covers.  It teases you with the possibility of an afternoon spent in another place, another world, another life.  You can feel it. 

And the owner knows her books.  She will recommend, discuss, and hunt for any topic or title you need.  If she doesn’t have it in her store, she’ll order it for you.  When it arrives a few days later, she’ll give you a personal call to let you know it’s in.  You feel spoiled being treated to such courteous customer service. 

If that isn’t reason enough, stop in for the author events.  There are signings scheduled monthly for all different types of genres.  Picture book, young adult, and adult authors all pass through.  You can meet the authors, which is always a thrill, and in that intimate environment you are allowed the time to speak with them.  Or, more appropriately, they welcome the opportunity to share with you.  Or both. 

There is no coffee bar.  Alas, your sole reason for visiting will have to be for the books.  (Although, that’s not quite true because there is a nice “gift” section.)  You will have to content yourself with the reading nook, crammed with comfy winged-back chairs, its big windows overlooking downtown, shelves spanning from floor to ceiling, surrounding you.  It’s a hard to be without my white chocolate mocha with the extra shot and whipped cream, but I manage.  I sacrifice myself for the books. 

If you are in the area, be sure to stop by.  The Town Bookstore is the only independent bookstore left in Union County.  The only one.  In the whole county.  All the others have been driven out of business.  It’s a sad reality of today’s marketplace, and it will become even more complicated with the advent of the e-book.  For the meantime, take advantage of this slice of yester-year while it lasts. 

Another Rare Gem - Ochre Cliffs of Roussillon

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