Arts & Entertainment

Words Bookstore Celebrates Five Years in Maplewood

Ellen and Jonah Zimiles of Words Bookstore

MAPLEWOOD, NJ – [words} Bookstore is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend with a special sale on Saturday. Customers may take advantage of a store-wide discount all day and the first two-hundred shoppers will receive a complimentary, limited edition anniversary tote with purchase.

[words} has been a welcome and valued part of the Village since opening in January of 2009.

"We are grateful to our community for supporting us for five years, and we hope to bring even bigger and better things to Maplewood in the upcoming years at [words},” owner Jonah Zimiles said.

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Opening an independent bookstore in this age of internet shopping and e-readers was a bold decision.

“We had no plans to open a store, period.  And we certainly didn’t have plans to open a bookstore. I had no retail experience,”  Zimiles said.  “My wife saw that the local bookstore was closing and we thought it was very important for the community to keep a bookstore open.”

The couple saw more than just a bookstore, however.

“At the core of our mission is serving as a community hub,” Zomiles said.  From the start, they also had a second mission, to help children with special needs, by serving as a welcoming place and by providing job training to individuals with autism.

[words] has been named Best Indie Bookstore by New Jersey Magazine for three consecutive years, was profiled twice in Entrepreneur Magazine, and was covered extensively on MSNBC for their pioneering efforts in job crafting.

The store also hosts more than 100 author events each year.  The full schedule can be found at   

[words} Bookstore: 179 Maplewood Avenue; 973-763-9500.

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