MADISON, NJ - At the corner of Main Street and Green Village Road in the heart of downtown Madison sits Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub. The shop is multifunctional as a bookstore, neighborhood gathering spot, event host, and café and coffee shop. Co-owned by Mary Weichert and Barbara Short, Short Stories was begun in 2014 by Short and her daughters. They were generously advised by the owners of the recently-closed Sages Pages in Madison Borough, which closed due to a flood. Short decided to create a new space with her own imprint. She strongly feels that “every downtown should have a bookstore.” Short Stories was kickstarted and shelves were built by the community in 2014. It opened in its current address at 23 Main Street in 2016, and was expanded into a cafe in 2019. Short exclaims “We’ll be belatedly celebrating our 4th birthday with a party at the store on March 23 and will turn 5 this Fall! The community named the store, brought it to life, and continues to be its heartbeat.”
General Manager Merril Speck is a veteran book purveyor – he previously worked at the Words bookstore in Maplewood and at Manhattan’s Housing Works Bookstore. He lauds the flexible nature of the space and refers to the shop’s website which states “Our big, open community space showcases leading authors and fosters local talent through community events, music jams, open mics, classes, workshops, book clubs, and art exhibits. We also host private meetings and events and invite daily creative expression on Johnny Guitar under the signature Short Stories Tree, or on our corner piano or blackboard and magnet walls.” The shop often hosts Madison High School and other school events, most recently last Saturday MHS’s musical theatre department’s Cabaret, and the Glyphs Literary Club open mics.
Speck states in his weekly newsletter “2019 is shaping up to be quite the year already! My New Year's Resolution as the new General Manager at Short Stories is to help the store grow and expand through all avenues we can handle, and we're definitely on the right track! I've kept myself busy ensuring that you have plenty of reasons to keep coming back all year long…”