NORTHVALE, N.J. — "You've Got Mail" may have predicted the demise of local bookstores as they failed to compete with large chains.
In Northvale, Books & Greetings proves the opposite is true.
"We offer so much more than just buying a book. We sell books the old fashion way — we read them," Owner Kenny Sarfin said.
Sarfin has been in the bookstore business for over 35 years. His family previously owned a bookstore in Manhattan before he opened Books & Greetings nearly 10 years ago.
The store's name touches on Sarfin's hope that everyone feels welcomed in the store. The welcoming presence comes in different forms, whether its kids enjoying the large toy section or Sarfin's attempts to represent multiple points of view.
"It's a bookstore, we have to promote both sides. We're not biased toward anyone or any one thing."
The store's employees have their own tastes and interests to help customers get an in-depth opinion on the various books sold in the store.
Sarfin personally enjoys mysteries from authors like James Patterson, Vince Flynn and John Sandford.
Books & Greetings has gained a reputation for numerous events and book signings with a range of authors. Many celebrities pass through the store, including Nicholas Sparks, Regis Philbin, Julie Andrews and Shaq.
Some local authors have also been invited such as Ann Arnold from Closter and Old Tappan resident Carol Roth.
The store integrates with the local community.
A Demarest hockey team plans on working with Books & Greetings for a fundraiser weekend, the owner said.
Any customer who mentions the team while purchasing a book will have 20 percent of their purchase donated to the local team. The exact date of this planned fundraiser has not been decided yet.
All events are highly advertised through local avenues or the store's email list which has over 10,000 subscribers.
In the near future Books & Greetings will host former NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Dec. 1 and singer Bobby Rydell on Dec. 13.
Books & Greetings is located in the shopping center at 271 Livingston Street, Northvale, N.J.
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