YARDLEY BOROUGH - Just a step inside one of the borough’s newest businesses, a world of exploration, inspiration, learning and fun await.
Commonplace Reader - the borough’s first and only independent book store - officially celebrated its opening on Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by State Rep. Perry Warren, Yardley Borough Councilman David Bria, David Appelbaum from Experience Yardley and Amy Masgay from State Sen. Steve Santarsiero’s office.
Standing on the steps of the newly renovated Victorian directly across the street from the Wawa, owner Liz Young thanked her team “for helping to create something really special.” She also thanked her family and her extended family “who never wavered in their support.
“My message is very simple - local community counts in all ways and for always,” she said, noting that her bookmarks and signs were printed by Bucks Ship and Print, her carpenter, Andy, lives on Main Street, her accountant and lawyer are next door, cookies on the porch are from Cramer’s and the flowers came from Ye Olde Yardley Florists.
“It’s a great beginning and the promise of a wonderful adventure,” said Young, her words garnering applause from a sizable crowd gathered on the sidewalk in front of the store.
For Young, who has lived in the greater Yardley area since 1991, bringing an independent bookstore to Yardley has been on her wish list for some time.
“I decided to open a bookstore in Yardley because it has been my hometown for almost 30 years and I wanted to share my love of books with my neighbors, friends and those who are now my family,” said Young.
Commonplace is all about local, adds Young, who formerly worked in information technology with Johnson & Johnson. “Local counts. And that local connection makes Yardley a special place.”
A step inside the door of the new store ignites the senses, from the colorful displays of books lining the shelves to the smell of printed books filling the air. It’s a book lover’s dream and a new and special place for the younger generations to explore and experience.
Commonplace Reader is designed as a welcoming space for all, from its restored porch to its various rooms, nooks and crannies. Shelves are filled with brand new books for all age groups and covering all genres, from fiction and non-fiction, to local interest, adolescent and children.
“It’s what the sign says. We want people to come in here to connect, be inspired and explore,” said Young. “There’s a real need to connect with each other, especially in today’s climate. Inspiration is also important - the inspiration of reading and thinking and exploring new ways of being, both internally and with others. I wanted to create a place where people can come and do that.”
In addition to its books and gifts, Commonplace will be offering after school book clubs for elementary age children, story hours for younger kids and special local author events.
Young was always an avid reader herself, and is passionate about books and stories being invaluable ways to learn, be curious, and relate to others.
“Bookstores can be a dynamic institution in any place to bring thoughtful, curious people together to exchange ideas and vitalize relationships,” she says.
Young believes that “Yardley and Lower Makefield are a borough and town that have a rich history along the Delaware River and Commonplace Reader is a place that provides an array of opportunities for people to connect, inspire and explore.”
Appelbaum said it’s people like Young who are making Yardley Borough that much more special.
“When I moved here 10 years ago this town wasn’t as hopping as it is now. And it’s because of people who are taking huge chances like Liz that we’re creating something special here,” said Appelbaum.
State Rep. Warren added that it’s great to see a new business open in town. But even more than that, he said it’s especially nice to see Young supporting local businesses in Yardley.
Warren predicted that the new bookstore is going to bring more people to town “who want to think and explore and who will visit other businesses on this thriving Main Street in Yardley. We welcome Liz and Commonplace Reader to Yardley and wish her much success.”
Commonplace Reader at 49 South Main Street opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday with hours ending from 6 to 9 p.m. depending on the day of the week.
For more information about Commonplace Reader and its offerings, events and services, visit commonplace-reader.com on the web and on Facebook and Instagram.