History of The Town Book Store
The year was 1934: America was in the midst of “The Great Depression,” Good Bye, Mr. Chips topped the bestseller lists, and paperback books were still on the horizon when The Town Book Store opened its doors on East Broad Street in Westfield. Today, Amazon dominates the retail landscape and books can be read digitally. But through all the challenges the past 8 plus decades have thrown at us, The Town Book Store is still going strong in downtown Westfield.
On September 4th, we will celebrate 85 years of good, old-fashioned bookselling here in Westfield. One of the last two independent bookstore in all of Union County, TBS has been serving Westfield and neighboring communities for 85 years, seven owners and two locations.
In today’s rapidly changing retail environment, we remain one constant where shoppers can find a first-rate literary selection with friendly, personalized service in an attractive, convenient setting. For this little store to have been able to hold on for this long is truly a testimony to the loyal customers who have supported us for so many years.
According to the original business ledgers on display in the shop, TBS first opened its doors on September 4, 1934. After operating from the same address for 72 years, we relocated across the street in 2007 to 270 E. Broad Street, the site of Westfield’s first library (see our website for the history of our building). This location at the eastern gateway to Westfield’s downtown offered easier parking, ample window space and greater visibility for the store.
Though modest in size, TBS's inventory is well-edited and caters to the interests of our customers. Individualized services like fast turnaround on special orders, friendly, helpful staff, author signings, out-of-print book searches, book club discounts, and free gift wrapping are part of the shop’s appeal. And while occasional blockbusters like the Harry Potter series have been a boon to struggling booksellers, it is avid readers and parents with young children who have been our mainstay throughout the years.