goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers
Grace and Dean Roth, a young couple with two small children, recently put their own home renovation plans on hold to pluck the Town Book Store from being permanently closed.
The former staff of the bookstore had simultaneously reached a point in their lives when they welcomed retirement. With no likely descendants to inherit the bookstore, the plan to close was announced in March.
Mr. Roth, a fourth-generation Westfield resident, could not let that happen. His family had owned and operated businesses in the downtown area in the past, and because his wife is a home-based advertising consultant, the decision to buy the book store seemed right, according to the couple.
The Roths had been planning to update their kitchen, which stands as functional today as it did four months ago, the architectural plans for the remodeling job having been shoved into a drawer.
With enthusiasm, they chose to suspend their renovation plans temporarily and took over The Town Book Store. "We couldnt imagine Westfield not having its own bookstore," agreed the couple.
Mrs. Roth runs the day-to-day operations and cheerfully maintains the stores 63-year tradition of friendly personal service and cozy atmosphere. Ordering books for customers continues to be the hallmark practice. To place an order, customers may call 233-3535 or fax 233-2963.
There are some changes to the Town Book Store, including improved interior lighting and, for quicker, more accurate service, a computerized cash register.
Mr. Roth also has created a website on the Internet at www.townbookstore.com. It features book reviews, author biographies, descriptions of books currently read by area book clubs, store events (such as book signings) and special offers.
The bookstore also welcomes the challenge to find old or out-of-print books for its customers. Via the Internet, the staff has access to hundreds of used and antiquarian bookstores across the country.
In contrast to the "state of the art" presence of the computer, the Roths have donated a portion of their walls to the Westfield Art Association, with the idea that the watercolors, prints and photographs by local artists will complement the literary offerings of the bookstore.
This is the first of many ideas designed to bridge the gap between the bookstore, the town and other forms of art, according to the couple.
The Roths currently are stocking the bookshelves with popular titles. Any input on this process is invited by the public. The new Town Book Store staff hopes patrons will stop by and meet them at 255 East Broad Street.