Millburn gained a bookstore on Feb. 3 with the opening of The Book House at 281 Essex Street. The 1,500 sq. ft. space is a detached building, which actually looks like a house. Prior to The Book House, the space was a spa and hair salon that also sold some clothes and accessories. The bookstore is on the first floor, with residential housing on the second floor. The basement is also a part of the store, which has been transformed into a gallery for local artists. The construction of the interior required gutting down to the studs, and the exterior work included new windows and siding. “It’s brand new now,” says owner Nadege Nicoll.
The store also has a cafe, which is for customers to relax and enjoy the books they purchase. It has coffee and tea, carefully selected to provide great quality and taste. The Book House has also sourced local bakers to provide cookies and cakes.
Nicoll, who is also an author, wants the store to be a place for the community to come and connect with one another. She is in the process of designing a calendar of events with a goal to create conversations between people from different generations, backgrounds, and religions, among other differences. “In the end, we will understand a little more of one another’s actions, thoughts, and positions,” explains Nicoll. “That’s the dream.” Visit The Book House Tuesday – Saturday from 10-5 or on Sundays from 11-3.