This is a bookstore favored by the locals of Collegeville, Pennsylvania (I’m happy to be one of them!). Family-owned this local hangout has a warm friendly feeling that invites you in.
And not only are the shelves lined with a multitude of stories to read, the bookstore has its own story to tell. It was a long road, and several name and location changes, before it became known as the Towne Book Center and Cafe.
In 1990 a franchise bookstore called The Little Professor opened its doors. The family, loving what they were doing in their community and doing it well, took the bookstore into their own hands. In 1996 the store became the independently owned Trappe Book Center named after the shopping center in Trappe, Pennsylvania, it was located in.
In 2011, with the building of the new shopping center in Collegeville, the Town Providence Center, this beloved bookstore was given a new opportunity and new life once again. They were one of the first stores to take up residency and renamed themselves again becoming the Towne Book Center and Cafe.
As a loyal customer of the Trappe Book Center I of course followed them to Collegeville, and admittedly was at first worried that it would be too different from the bookstore I had grown up loving. Well there was one major difference I found. It was even bigger than before! Books were everywhere as far as the eye can see, and now they had a cafe too! Change can be a good thing.
The Towne Book Center has continued to be a community landmark for book lovers. Some of their staff have been with them since Trappe and are thus very well acquainted with what the bookstore houses.
And even those who have only worked at Towne are highly knowledgeable about what’s in stock. Because really you can’t not love this place! Everyone there is friendly and helpful, ready to help you find that perfect book.
Books, Books Everywhere…With Coffee
As soon as you walk in the front door you are met with shelves of new releases and bestsellers, that then lead you off into numerous sections with books of all kinds.
They’ve got non-fiction, cook books, travel books, a huge fiction section which breaks off into mystery, romance, and a whole wall full of science-fiction (fantasy books are also included here).
They have a whole teen section, and with their larger pace were able to add an entire children’s area which holds a beautifully painted jungle scene above it.
A special thing that I enjoy is that this independent bookstore does have a manga/graphic novel section. A market this store was smart enough to get into.
Pretty much whatever you’re book fancy you can find at the book center (they even have the latest magazines!). If you happen to come across a book you want that you just can’t find, however, no worries! Just ask the staff at the register to order it for you. They’ll be happy to help you find any book you desire.
The best thing about ordering from them is even though they give you a range of dates of when your book will arrive, usually your book ends up arriving much earlier than expected. I can personally attest to this.
One of the greatest editions that was made when Trappe became Towne was the cafe. Full of fabulous coffee and tea drinks, like a blended caramel coffee drink perfect for a hot summer day (or any day really). Not to mention their delectable desserts. The peanut butter cookies are to die for!
The cafe also comes along with a spacious seating area where you can sit, relax, read, and enjoy your coffee and dessert.
Special Events and Community Groups
The cafe’s large area does become highly useful on certain occasions when special people pop into the book center. Lisa Scottoline has made several stops to promote her books, and other authors often stop in for a signing.
The book center also does events for popular series books, and allows you to pre-order the next volume so that you can get it immediately when it is released. I have fond memories of their Harry Potter all night parties at Trappe. Packed in and waiting for the clock to strike midnight and then stampeding toward our pre-ordered books.
Aside from the special events the book center also has regular book club meetings, themed tea parties (the Frozen tea party was a huge hit), writing groups, and many other activities.
Promoting the Local at the Local
As a local independent bookstore, Towne Book Center enjoys promoting local authors and artists. You can find local artwork hung throughout the store and books by local authors are always prominently featured.
The Towne Book Center is a wonderful family-owned bookstore that really reaches out to the community and makes you feel welcome. This was shown in the 2014 Hot List where it won third place in the bookstore category.
It has something for everyone so stop on by and have a look around. As soon as you step in you’ll want to make it you’re new home for books, and if you’re just passing through the area mark it as a spot to rest and relax on your travels. The Towne Book Center is a bookstore you’ll never forget!
Want to learn more about the Towne Book Center? Check out their website: