5 Super Kid-Friendly Bookstores in NJ

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While online book buying is an easy go-to, there’s nothing better than scanning the aisles of a local bookstore with your kids. It’s a chance to share your childhood favorites and help them select a book or two they love. Local bookstore shopping offers lots of perks, too—highly curated selections (often recommended by the staff), special events, and plenty of lounging spaces that encourage your kids to crack open those newly purchased books. Scroll down for five bookstores in NJ catering to kids, and if you’re looking to keep it all local, check out these awesome books by NJ authors too. (feature photo credit: Istock/globalmoments)

5 Kid-Friendly Bookstores in NJ

Indigo 
The first US location of the wildly popular Canadian chain, this book and gift spot has one of the largest children’s sections around. Step into the colorful and bright space that’s like a store within a store, and find organized aisles by age and reading skill—starting with nursery favorites to chapter book series to a huge selection of young adult and non-fiction for curious kids. You can plan to stop by during author visits, special craft-making events, and storytimes.
The Mall at Short Hills, 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ 07078

Words Bookstore 
In the centrally located children’s section, kids can independently peruse the extensive shelves filled with local authors and hard-to-find titles while you hang back in the adult areas. Besides its colorful kids’ space, Words stands out for its mission to promote learning opportunities for kids of all abilities by offering inclusive events, a comprehensive selection of books for and about special needs, and expert speakers. 
179 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Watchung Booksellers 
A lively schedule of children’s author visits, storytimes for the 2-and-under crew, junior book groups, and other fun events like a Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt make this book store a popular favorite for families. The designated great blue room with the starry sky in the back is a place kids can keep coming back to as they grow up—from the toddler listening to a book on a parent’s lap to the high schooler searching for the latest young adult titles in the teen corner. The staff loves to introduce eager readers to new titles and often coax even the most reluctant readers to find a book that helps overcome resistance. 
54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, Montclair, NJ 07042

River Road Books 
This charming storefront is the perfect place to pop in after the beach or to make a pit stop on a rainy day. The children’s corner appeals to all ages. Early readers, middles, and tweens will find known authors and illustrated classics along with hand-picked new titles (the staff reads them all before selecting), and plenty of clerks are on hand to recommend books based on interests and reading level. Got a kid who likes to make her choices known? Sign them up to be an RRB book reviewer, which will encourage reading and writing, and provide a solid foundation for future school papers. 
759 River Road, Fairhaven, NJ, 07704

Inkwood Books
Opened by a former attorney who wanted to save the town’s only bookstore, Inkwood’s inviting style has offerings for kids of all ages. Kids can easily shop for the latest titles (they highlight bestsellers from independent booksellers across the country), and there’s a wide selection of picture books, easy chapter books, and young adult novels. Inkwood also works with local schools to promote reading and hosts frequent children’s and YA authors’ visits in-store.
106 King’s Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033

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About Author

Lisa Cohen Lee is a freelance writer, editor, and mom to a tween-age boy based in Summit, NJ. Her work has appeared in print and online, including Glamour, Self, Woman’s Day, O The Oprah Magazine, NY Post, NJ Monthly, Allure.com, Prevention.com, and Brit + Co, among others. A Garden State native, Lisa is always on the lookout for new local adventures and events to entertain her son and husband. Most days, you can find her chauffeuring her son around town and trolling the coolest coffee houses for #NJMOM fuel.

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