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Maplewood Chamber of Commerce to Honor [words] Bookstore Owners

Jonah and Ellen Zimiles, owners of [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, New Jersey, are being honored by the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce at its Annual Distinguished Service Award Dinner on Friday, September 19.

The Zimiles bought Goldfinch Bookstore on Baker Street five years ago, renamed it and moved it around the corner to a bigger space, and through a full program of special events, marketing and, most of all, connection with the community have made [words] Bookstore a success, the Village Green reported.

The Distinguished Service Award has been presented to leaders in the Maplewood business and civic community for more than 60 years. “We are honored to add Jonah and Ellen Zimiles to our long list of accomplished recipients,” read a release from the Chamber, which continued:

Opened in 2009, [words] Bookstore has had over 70 individuals with autism work in its vocational training program. In 2011, Springboard Consulting named [words] Bookstore as the recipient of its Small Business National “Disability Matters” Award. New Jersey Monthly Magazine listed [words] Bookstore as Best Independent Bookstore in New Jersey for three consecutive years in their readers’ poll. Autism Speaks has presented [words] as one of 15 model Small Business employers of individuals with autism.

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop to Celebrate First Decade

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday, October 25, with live music, a special birthday-themed storytime, and a costume party for its anniversary as well as Halloween. The latter will feature free refreshments, a costume contest, and door prizes.

Since its founding in 2004, Spellbound has existed in three Asheville locations: first in West Asheville, then downtown, and in its current location at The Shops at Reynolds Village in North Asheville since October 2013.

The 1,300-square-foot store stocks primarily new books for babies, kids, and teens, but also has a section of used books encompassing books for all ages. Spellbound hosts regular storytimes and book clubs. Owner Leslie Hawkins noted that Spellbound’s Book of the Month Club is a popular gift, with customers across the country signing up to have store staff personally select a book to send to a recipient once a month for six or 12 months. In the near future, Hawkins plans to offer book-themed birthday parties for kids.

Norwich Bookstore Marks 20 Years With an Expansion

The Norwich Bookstore of Norwich, Vermont, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this September and is expanding by about 400 square feet. Co-owners Liza Bernard and Penny McConnel said the construction, which took three weeks, will be used to spread out the store’s history, current events, business, adventure sports, and New England sections, as well as to display various non-book items such as postcards, calendars, and wrapping paper.

Bernard and McConnel met at a book club and spent three years researching and attending industry trade shows before opening up their own bookstore in 1994, Bernard told the Valley Times. They credit their success to their careful selection of inventory. They weed through about 200,000 titles a year and only stock 10,000 to15,000. The business also offers e-books through the store’s IndieCommerce website. Bernard and McConnel are known for focusing on their community by helping with fundraising drives and getting to know their customers personally. “It’s the kind of community involvement that Amazon isn’t going to do,” Bernard said.

New Bookstore to Open in Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park, Florida, will have a new bookstore opening on Welbourne Avenue, off of Park Avenue, this month. Writer’s Block Bookstore will offer a wide selection of new titles including fiction, nonfiction, youth, and adult classics. Owner Lauren Zimmerman hopes the new business will be a space for book lovers to congregate, whether they’re book club members or people who just like to spend time browsing.

Zimmerman reported to the Orlando Sentinel that despite the popularity of e-books she thinks there’s still a loyal group of readers who not only love sitting down with a book in their hands, but, more importantly, also want a bookstore they can spend hours in, perusing what’s on the shelves, looking to see what they’ll discover.  

Blue Frog Books Voted Best New Business

Blue Frog Books was voted the best new retail business in Howell, Michigan’s Livingston County People’s Opinion Poll. The bookstore offers a wide variety of titles and genres in store, and many more can be ordered online, including e-books, Insurance News Net reported. Owner Penny Coleman and her staff tailor the collection to the interests of their customers, and they’re strong supporters of local art in any form. The store is also known for offering unconventional services, such as in-house wide format printing, photo scanning, photo restoration and artwork, custom creation of cards and invitations, and still life photography services.

Blue Frog Books hosts many events, including open poetry nights, book clubs, author appearances, and a photo club.  

Rizzoli Bookstore Finds New Location

Rizzoli Bookstore will reopen spring 2015 in New York’s NoMad neighborhood on Broadway, between 25th and 26th streets, on the ground floor of the Beaux-Arts Saint James Building, the Wall Street Journal reported. Rizzoli executives  did extensive research on the best location for the high-end destination store, employing sources such as focus groups to determine which part of the city would be most profitable for them.

The new neighborhood is home to many “young creatives” for whom Rizzoli believes the bookstore will hold appeal. The ceilings of Rizzoli’s new one-level storefront are 18 feet high and much of the old store’s salvaged décor will be used, reported WSJ.

Lift Bridge Book Shop to Change Ownership

Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, New York, is changing ownership after 42 years of business. Co-owners Archie and Pat Kutz will soon sell their business to two former employees. John Bonczyk and Cody Steffen will officially take over ownership of the bookstore on January 1, 2015.

Bonczyk was an employee while working on his accounting degree and Steffen worked at the bookstore during some of high school and college. Steffen told The Stylus that he eventually hopes to offer more activities and community events to bring in Brockport residents and students.