Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 38
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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PSC’s Chicklet Books Is Alive and Well Offering Special Programs and Expanded Services

Ellen Gilbert

Contrary to recent rumors, Chicklet Books, the three-year-old “fun and funky book boutique” based in the Princeton Shopping Center, is alive and well and has no intention of closing. Ditto the post office sub station in the store.

Confusion arose with the recent closing of Glen Echo, owner Deb Hunter’s other bibliophilic outpost, located near the south end of Nassau Street. “It wasn’t pulling its weight,” said Ms. Hunter of the used and collectibles book store. “I guess people assumed if one bookstore was closing, the other one was as well.”

“It wasn’t a move I wanted to make,” she added, “but I had no choice due to the economy. My landlord, Gund Investments, had been very supportive and worked hard with me over the past few years. It just wasn’t enough to keep our doors open.”

The good news is that despite the fact that Glen Echo has closed after six years, its inventory has been relocated to Chicklet’s basement level, where it will continue to operate as an independent book store. For that to happen, however, Chicklet needs to make room. This translates into what Ms. Hunter describes as “a huge clearance/liquidation sale of Chicklet’s basement here at the Princeton Shopping Center to make room for the fabulous Glen Echo inventory, which is currently boxed and in storage until the sale is over.” 

The sale began on Monday, September 20, said Ms. Hunter. “All week long there will be great deals for everyone.” The sale will end on Saturday the 25th with an opportunity to “fill a bag for $5.” Fixtures and bookcases will also be for sale. The result, said Ms. Hunter, will be “a whole bigger space.”

“Glen Echo will remain a distinct entity, offering used, collectible, and a little more high brow and esoteric books,” emphasized Ms. Hunter. Chicklet isn’t being neglected, though, she adds. “It’s changing too. It will still be a fun and funky book boutique but it will expand to offer things like New York Times bestsellers.”

Collaborations are also in the offing. Ms. Hunter reported that she is working with Princeton Tour Company head Mimi Omiecinski to create a new section of books devoted to Princetoniana. Similarly, a new wine section will be the result of working with the owners of Cool Vines. “They’re the experts, not me,” observed Ms. Hunter.

Dedicated letter-writers and package-senders will be delighted to know that the post office sub station will expand to take over the current space occupied by the Chicklet cafe, and that it will offer more shipping supplies, like boxes and tapes.

Ms. Hunter also promised to reinstate Glen Echo’s buy-back and credit system.

As if the liquidation sale, reopening of Glen Echo, and enlarging the post office weren’t enough, Chicklet will also be initiating what Ms. Hunter described as “an artist in residence kind of program” once a week. “I am asking local artisans to come in the store for a day and do their thing while people watch and ask questions. Books on their topic will be out on display, along with the artists’ creations.” 

Ms. Hunter will kick off the series herself when, on Saturday October 9, she “will be sewing pillowcases where the customer can choose the fabrics they want for a price of $15 or two for $25.” If they don’t want or need a pillowcase they may purchase one to donate to the “million pillowcase challenge” being held in communities nationwide to “provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident.”

On October 16, An ETSYNJ (New Jersey crafters) artist will be painting wooden storybook characters.

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