Westfield Shop is a Cozy Space for Book Lovers
Writer / Julie Yates
Photographer / Glenda White
Westfield resident Jamie Degler has always had a love for reading. As a child, her favorite activities involved anything that included books. Later, she taught elementary school, volunteered in her own four children’s school library and worked for a short time for Scholastic Book Fairs. Each summer she and her family vacationed in upper Michigan where one of the highlights of the trip would be visiting a small independent bookstore.
Although it was a dream of hers to own a similar book store, it was never really a declared goal to do so. Degler thought if she ever did, her first choice to locate a shop would be in a house-like setting in order to achieve a cozy intimate atmosphere. For several years she eyed a building at 149 North Walnut street that was being used as a dress shop. When it became available to rent, her desire started to become a reality and in September of 2018, Turn the Page Books and Gifts opened its doors to the community.
“Once I saw that the house was for rent, I felt it was an opportunity to go for it,” Degler says. “I knew if I didn’t, I’d always wonder what could have been. After I made the commitment everything else just unfolded. I feel lucky and blessed.”
Although the little white house looks small from the street, it holds a vast number of books and reading-related goods as well as gifts. Degler commissioned custom bookshelves designed to make the most out of the space. There is room enough for 4,500 books which span more than 23 different genres such as children’s, classics, autobiographies and cooking.
“I can’t be any happier about the space,” Degler says. “Everyone that has come into the store has been so complimentary. When they walk through the door, they seem pleasantly surprised and have commented on how impressed they are with the selection of wonderfully varied books.”
The heart of the bookstore is a living room area that serves as a gathering place for several different events. Degler’s favorite activity happens to be book club but she hosts other meetings. A girl scout troop has visited and a knitting group called Sticks and Strings gets together once a month. Every Saturday at 11 a.m. there is a Children’s Storytime for elementary school-aged students. Authors are also scheduled to deliver talks.
“I feel that small bookstores are on the rise,” Degler says. “People want to have a conversation about what they have read. They want suggestions about what to read next. They enjoy the experience of a friendly and warm setting.”
Upon request, Degler will order books for patrons. She has multiple contacts with several book vendors. She finds that people like to support local businesses and enjoy coming back into the store to pick up their purchases.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be here every day we are open,” Degler says. “I’m happy that Turn the Page Bookstore can be a part of downtown Westfield.”
Turn the Page Books & Gifts is located at 149 N. Walnut St. in Westfield. For more information visit TurnThePageWestfield.com or give them a call at 317-804-2363.