Barnes and Noble in Jenkintown, PA— local, welcoming, and thriving
The B & N in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, not far from my hometown of Bryn Athyn could — except for its size — easily be mistaken for the kind of intimate and inviting community-based retailer that has now become the assumed province of independent bookstores.
I was there on Sunday for a reading and signing of my novel So Near. When we arrived around 10:45 in the morning, the place was already bustling. The PR manager Christopher DeWitt, who couldn’t have been nicer, explained that they were having a holiday fair — including a raffle to help support a local not-for-profit. Without in any way impinging on my own reading (which — thank you, everyone! — had a great turn-out), the store began to fill with parents and children. After my reading, the staff started setting up for a young people’s concert. Miniature violinists and trombone players arrived with grandparents in tow. Decorated for the holidays, the store had the festive feel of a church bazaar or street fair. By the time we left, music filled the air — and the cash registers were ringing.