Name: Anne Woodward Laird
Years in Westfield: 57 years (born here!)
Husband: Scott Laird
Daughter: Whitney McCullam, husband Rob and children Luke and Molly, Fanwood
Daughter: Emma Mitchell, husband Kevin, Westfield
Son: Chuck, Hoboken
Anne Woodward Laird isn’t just the owner of The Town Book Store, she’s a virtual historian, preserving a rich part of Westfield’s heritage, her home for 57 years!
“Our shop is located on the site of Westfield’s original library, donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1906,” Anne explained. “When I took over the business in 2006 after working there as a sales clerk for six years, we decided to move across the street to this location and made a really exciting find in the old basement — business ledgers from the 1930s!”
Those “history books” are on display in the store and give an exciting window into the world of bookselling over three quarters of a century ago.
“Some of the vendors I use today were used even back then — it makes me feel like part of history even as I take this bookstore into the future,” Anne said.
As one of the last two independent bookstores remaining in all of Union County, Anne and her team pride themselves on a carefully curated selection of good reads and gifts, expert customer care and even free gift wrapping.
“Over the past 11 years I have grown more confident in myself in terms of how to run a business and what my customers want and, of course, that confidence spills over into other areas of your life.”
We’re confident Anne’s latest chapter will be a real page-turner.
Say “hi” to Anne at the Town Book Store and pick up your copy of the hilarious best-selling book Class Mom, available now! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Union County and there’s a special gift from Bestfield for the first 50 people to shop local.
There’s more! Bring your book and come meet author Laurie Gelman (wife of Live with Kelly producer Michael Gelman and friend of Kelly) at our special book signing event on Sept. 14 at the Athleta store from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There’s special discounts and prizes when you bring your Town Book Store bookmark.
Anne’s Best List:
WESTFIELD TRADITION. I was born and raised in Westfield and attended Washington School, RIS and WHS. My children attended all three of the same schools that I did in Westfield. My son even had the same second grade teacher! Many of my high school teachers taught my children as well. My daughter, Emma, and her husband just purchased a house in the Washington School district, just around the corner from us, so they will be continuing the tradition of making Westfield the place they will also raise their children. My sister also lives in town as does my father.
THE BRICK OVEN WESTFIELD. The Suprema di Pollo sandwich at The Brick Oven is, honestly, the best sandwich in town!
DOWNTOWN. Right after I got married, we lived outside of Boston for about six months. There was no downtown, at least none that rivaled Westfield for its convenience and variety of stores … and no family nearby! All I wanted to do was to move back “home” which we did after I convinced my husband (he was not from Westfield) that this was the only place I would be happy to live and raise my family.
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. I have been a member since I was born. My parents were married there in 1955. My husband and I were married there in 1982 and both my daughters were married there —one in 2012 and the other in 2014. Continuing this tradition has been a very meaningful one for me especially now with four generations of our family attending together!
TRADER JOE’S. Who doesn’t love this place?! We are SO lucky to have this store in our town!
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