I love giving books as gifts. When I recently popped into The Town Book Store in Westfield, I was reminded of what a pleasure it is to shop in one of Union County’s last remaining independent bookstores.
Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size–The Town Book Store has an expertly curated selection of bestselling fiction and nonfiction, cookbooks, a cheerful children’s section, gifts, and so much more. And how great is this: if they don’t carry the book you’re looking for, they will have it shipped to the store usually free of charge, often the very next day! Plus they offer complimentary gift wrapping. Beat that, Amazon!
Inside you’ll find plush leather chairs beckoning you into a cozy reading nook, as well as a wall displaying the friendly staff’s current favorite books. And I bet you never noticed the bookshelf tucked into the back corner of the shop, at the somewhat hidden Elmer Street entrance: here you’ll find a clearance section of books and gifts for up to 75 percent off. Don’t have time to browse in-store? They now offer 24-7 online shopping through their website: www.townbookstore.com, with free shipping on all purchases over $25.
The long history of The Town Book Store could make for a book itself; it is one of the oldest continually operating shops in Westfield. The store first opened in September of 1934, across the street in what is now occupied by Lucky Jeans. Anne Laird purchased the bookstore in 2006 and moved it to its current location on East Broad, which was the site of the original Westfield Library (donated to the town by none other than Andrew Carnegie in 1906!). According to Anne, “You can still see the names of authors chiseled into the lintels of the windows on the Elmer Street side.”
The Town Book Store hosts meet-and-greets almost every Saturday, where customers can interact with local and bestselling authors on a personal basis. New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman, most famous for his My Weird School Series, had 150 people waiting to meet him in person this past December.
Check out these upcoming author visits:
April 5: Westfield resident Lisa Bleich
April12: Former Westfield resident Edward Einhorn
April 19: NY Times bestselling author Jenny Milchman
You can find The Town Book Store at 270 East Broad Street. There’s plenty of metered street parking and a municipal lot around the corner on Elmer Street.
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