This September, Glenda Childs, owner of The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, plans to open a second store in nearby Lahaska, to be called The Lahaska Bookshop.
Childs, who purchased the 19-year-old Doylestown Bookshop from Pat Gerney five years ago, said The Lahaska Bookshop will be a general-interest bookstore, like Doylestown, selling adult and children’s books as well as non-book items, such as gifts, greeting cards, magazines, and stationery. The bookstore will also host events, book clubs, and book talks on a regular basis.
The new store is located in Peddler’s Village, a large outdoor shopping mall development in Bucks County, featuring 65 stores, three restaurants, and a hotel as well as frequent events and festivals. Childs told Bookselling This Week that opening day is scheduled for on or around September 15, with a grand opening planned for this October.
“We always thought that if an opportunity in Peddler’s Village became available, we would consider it,” said Childs. “When their representative approached us a couple of months ago, she explained that they wanted to develop a sense of community by opening a bookstore that would also attract more local shoppers. After much research and discussion, we felt it was the right fit for us.”
Childs said she wants The Lahaska Bookshop to serve as a community bookstore for Peddler’s Village and the Lahaska area; interestingly, the meaning of Lahaska, the store’s name and town of origin, supports that purpose.
“As we searched for an appropriate name for the new store, we discovered that Lahaska is a Lenape Indian word meaning ‘the place of much writing,’” said Childs. “We hope we can honor the legacy of our name.”
Childs said she hopes they will hire staff who are local to the area; Nathan Halter, who until July served as Senior Member Relationship and Database Manager at the American Booksellers Association, will manage the new store.
“My experience at ABA really broadened my view of what a bookstore can be and how crucial a role they can play in their communities,” said Halter, who previously worked at The Doylestown Bookshop before joining ABA in 2011. “As a member relationship manager, I was able to travel the country, visiting stores and getting to know and learn from hundreds of amazing booksellers. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to use a small part of the knowledge and experience they shared with me at The Lahaska Bookshop.”
“I’m thrilled that I’m able to be a part of this,” he added. “It’s exciting to take a step into the unknown with nothing but a space and some ideas. To see it start to come together day by day and piece by piece has been pretty amazing.”
Childs said she made the decision to open a new location because of her observation that more and more communities are interested in having a bookstore in their town. Bookstores serve as a community gathering space, a place to share ideas, learn new things, and inspire a love of reading, she said.
“I think the ABA’s effort in support of localism has set the stage for this renewed interest in the value of an independent bookstore,” said Childs. “This location provides a great opportunity to give customers the unique experience of shopping in and being a part of an independent bookstore. We are also fortunate to have the staff who are ready to move into new management positions.”