The recent “shop local first” trend has positively impacted independent bookshops all over New Jersey. So, why not support small businesses and pick up a good read? It’s a win/win for owners and avid readers, young and old. To save you some time researching, we put together this guide of the six local bookstores around Mount Laurel your family should explore.
Second Time Books
This quaint indie bookshop may be small, but it stocks more than 60,000 titles. You’ll find collections spanning everything from history to science fiction to fantasy. There are also sections filled with books about art, philosophy, science, religion, music, and children’s books. The attentive staff here hand cleans and covers every title, so you know they’re in good condition.
It’s a genuinely cool educational destination in Mount Laurel because there’s always something happening at Second Time Books. Stop by for monthly craft and antique shows, local author signings, and special sales. For example, every fourth Saturday of the month is the dollar book sale.
- Location: 114 Creek Road, Mount Laurel.
- Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Inkwood Books moved to New Jersey in 1991, and it’s been a local favorite ever since. This local store offers shoppers many titles to choose from in nearly every genre. They stock paper fiction, nonfiction, teen, children’s books, and audiobooks.
This spot also has a terrific book club your family can join. It’s open to readers of all ages and proficiency levels, free to attend, and you don’t have to pre-register. The only requirement is purchasing one of Inkwood’s many books to participate. You can also show up for various in-store events like book signings and author meet and greets. So gather the kiddos because these are fun. Depending on which one you attend, there will likely be compelling presentations, demos, Q&A, and celebrations.
- Location: 106 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield.
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Rose of Sharon Christian Bookstore
The Rose of Sharon Christian Bookstore’s worldwide mission starts here in Mount Laurel. This locally-owned ministry serves Christian families and our community as a whole. The owner, Sharon Flowers, was inspired to open the store by a vision of a yellow rose in 2011. Today, she remains passionate about offering products like bibles, books, music, and videos that help inspire, guide, and encourage you along your spiritual path.
This local shop helps spread the Gospel through the titles on its shelves and so much more. It’s a place where families can come to feel restored, renewed, and healed. Ask Sharon to show you her collection of religious greeting cards, Christian and Catholic gifts, and church supplies. She also has an excellent inventory of music and DVDs that the whole family will love, whether it’s for a holiday like Easter or just another gray day in New Jersey.
- Location: 315 High St., Burlington.
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc.
Fall in love with books for the first or the millionth time at Between the Covers Rare Books. This shop touts plenty of titles for you to browse because Tom and Heidi Congalton have been selling books since 1985. Tom, a collector and book scout, assembled the shop’s wide-ranging inventory. It features over 200,000 items ranging from rare archival collections and modern first editions to your typical selection of used books. Shop its website anytime from home, or if you want to see a specific title in person, it’s best to make an appointment.
- Location: 112 Nicholson Rd., Gloucester City.
- Hours: By appointment, if possible.
A Novel Idea
A Novel Idea is an East Passyunk shop and event space that’s a true partner in fostering a better community. Owners Alexander Schneider and Christina Rosso-Schneider make up the two halves of the operations, with their graphic design, writing, and open mic host backgrounds. This dynamic duo brings a lot of talents to the counter and a dedication to hosting literary events that support local artists.
The shop reflects this community-minded spirit and supports readers with a vast catalog of books written by local authors and featured works of small publishers. There are also plenty of in-person and online events to attend that help foster diversity and inclusivity. You can also sign up for a class like From Submission to the Shelf. This five-week workshop will lead novice writers through the publication process.
- Location: 1726 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia.
- Hours: Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Head & The Hand
Since opening its door in the East Kensington neighborhood in 2019, The Head & The Hand has made a name for itself with avid readers and writers. It offers everything you expect from a traditional bookstore, including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, young adult titles, and plenty of local literature. It’s a fantastic place to pick up unique gifts for every holiday or a themed book box that focuses on exploring topics like art. But that’s not all. This shop is also a nonprofit publishing company that focuses on supporting and developing the city’s local literary community.
The Head & The Hand hosts writers’ workshops and fun events like date nights. This is the ideal chance for mom and dad to spend some romantic moments together over a good book. With this 90 or 120-minute, reserved, private affair, you’ll browse the bookstore together, munch on goodies you brought from home, and sip a complimentary glass of wine or beer. The staff will even curate a playlist for your occasion and give you a free copy of one of its published books.
- Location: 2230 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia.
- Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Well, there you go. Crème de la Crème of Mount Laurel assembled this handy guide to the city’s best local bookstores. Which one will you explore first? Let us know all about your experience. If we forgot your family’s favorite place to grab a new read, tell us that too, so that we can share your recommendation with other parents.