By Khadijah Lacina
A few weeks ago I placed a call to Booktenders’ Secret Garden in Doylestown, PA. When the answering machine kicked on, I prepared myself for the usual recital of hours of operation and extension choices. Instead I was treated to litany of events that were going on at the store. I don’t remember any of them now, but I know that at the time I was wishing I was closer to Doylestown. If I was I know that the children and I would be regulars at Booktenders’.
Ellen Mager, the full-time proprietor of the store, is known to have a golden touch when it comes to helping children find the perfect book. A former teacher, her enthusiasm and expertise shine through in her interactions with her customers, and she has time for all of them- from the grandma looking for a gift for a beloved grandchild to a preschooler hoping to find a magical gateway into another world.
Some of the awards Booktenders‘ has won include:
- Best Bookstore for Children in the Philadelphia area by Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks
- Best Hand Selling Bookseller in the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association in 2012
- Awarded the Children’s Literature Advocate Award from Frostburg State University
- Recognized as the oldest Children’s Only Bookstore in the Tri-State area
The bookstore is celebrating its thirtieth year in children’s bookselling. It truly demonstrates the place that an Indie bookstore can hold in a community, hosting many events designed to gather people together in friendship and a love of literature. They sponsor both on-site and in-store book fairs, providing a welcome respite from the run of the mill big box fairs. They also offer readings and other events with a variety of authors and illustrators.
Along with the comprehensive inventory of books for infants through age 13, we proudly offer:
- Plush children’s book characters and finger puppets
- Greeting cards by the book illustrators
- Activity kits and puzzles
- Original art and collectable prints by noted children’s book illustrators
The next time you’re anywhere near Doylestown Pennsylvania, make sure you stop by Booktenders’ Secret Garden and have a chat with Ellen and her staff. We can almost guarantee that you won’t leave empty-handed!
42 E State Street Rear
Doylestown, PA 18901-4324
All images courtesy of Booktenders’ Secret Garden