There is a great story around every corner of Chester County’s Brandywine Valley. Bibliophiles will love exploring fantastic independent bookstores, cozying up in a boutique book-themed hotel and more. Read ahead for inspiration, then book a trip.
Baldwin’s Book Barn, in the heart of Chester County’s Brandywine Valley, is one of America’s most distinctive booksellers. The five-story historic barn was built in 1822 and in 1946 William and Lilla Baldwin founded their bookstore. Stepping inside the Book Barn feels like crossing a portal to another time and place, filled with cozy nooks, stone walls, and a wood- burning stove. It is a treasure trove of over 300,000 used and rare books, manuscripts, maps, and other valued collectibles. Baldwin’s is a hidden gem for book lovers of all ages.
Baldwin's Book Barn
In the vibrant Eagleview Town Center is an eclectic independent bookstore to fire the imagination. Wellington Square Bookshop began as owner Sam Hankin’s labor of love, utilizing his personal collection. Today it has grown to house thousands of curated books in beautifully displayed wooden displays. Delightful gifts and cards can be found throughout the store as well as a small café to grab a latte while browsing.
Wellington Square Bookshop
The historic town of Phoenixville is home to the charming Reads & Company. The bookshop was founded by two friends, united by love of books and their hometown. Jason Hafer had a background in bookselling as the former owner of Wolfgang Books in Phoenixville; friend Robb Cardigan was an author (pick up a copy of his Phoenixville Rising) with ties to the literary world. Theirs was the perfect story to open the perfect store.
Reads & Company (Photos via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readsandcompany)
A new bookstore in Coatesville has opened after operating as a pop-up for a year – Looker Books. Named for owner Dana Looker, this eclectic store offers books and gifts for all ages. Looker encourages guests to relax, explore and share the love of reading.
The Bookhouse Hotel is calling all bookworms! The four-room boutique hotel brims with a cozy atmosphere and over 5000 books in the heart of Kennett Square close to fantastic dining and shopping options. It is a one-time bookstore converted to a property that sleeps 11 guests – it is often booked for groups. A prime spot for a book club getaway, guests love to curl up in special spaces including The Secret Garden Room, inspired by nearby Longwood Gardens. Visit Longwood Gardens while in the region, it is a glorious garden in every season of the year.
The Bookhouse Hotel
Longwood additionally is a source for book lovers as they host an award winning Community Read program annually. The 2024 selection features a first historical fiction pick which explores the beauty and solace found in gardens - The Last Garden in England. On Tuesday, March 26, 2024 from 6:30-7:45 pm join in a livestream discussion with author Julia Kelly for an exploration into her inspirations for the book. The online event is free but requires registration.