Firefly opens new expanded bookstore

Owners Matthew Williams and Rebecca Laincz stand in their new expanded Firefly Bookstore, now located at 271 Main Street, Kutztown.
Owners Matthew Williams and Rebecca Laincz stand in their new expanded Firefly Bookstore, now located at 271 Main Street, Kutztown. Lisa Mitchell - Digital First Media

Firefly Bookstore moved to a new expanded location at the former Jackie and Daughter Flower Shop at 271 Main Street.

Previously, the bookstore was at a 1,200 square foot location at 230 West Main Street, Kutztown. Now, the store has about 3,000 square feet.

“We have almost three times the size,” said co-owner Matthew Williams. “We love it. It’s not about being able to add so many bookcases, which we’ve added 42 more bookcases into the store, but we’ve also been able to segment out sections of the store for events.”

Sections include a children’s area, lounge area for book clubs, and space for game events and author visits.

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Reactions from the community?

“People have been ecstatic,” said co-owner Rebecca Laincz.

“That’s a great word, ecstatic for all the things we’ve done,” said Williams.

The store still holds about 50,000 items, of which about 45,000 are books.

“Now you can actually see everything, so it feels like more,” said Laincz.

There are about 150 boxes of items that they never had a chance to open.

They are excited that the new location has room to do more.

“To do the things that we had envisioned in our mind,” said Williams.

“That we always wanted to do,” added Laincz.

“We loved that other space. It was a great place for us to start but it was also much smaller than our original plan. Our original plan was something more this size so now we get to do all the things we originally planned to do,” said Williams.

Events include the recent April 29 Independent Bookstore Day, at which they offered limited availability items including some high interest items. The event included deals and sales.

They are participating in the Kutztown Community Partnership’s Kutztown Art Soiree May 4, 5, and 6, hosting local artist Marilyn Fox.

Game Nights will be held on Friday nights at 6 p.m.

“We will be getting in more authors and artists as we have an opportunity to schedule them,” said Williams.

Many explored the new location during the Kutztown Block Party, during which Firefly set up an Author’s Pavilion, rotating 17 author book signings, including Jennifer Hetrick, Boyertown; Dale Reppert, Kutztown; Emma and Kayla, Kutztown; and Kevin McCloskey, Kutztown.

Williams said having author visits at the bookstore are critical.

“These are the people who provide us content to sell but more than that, people really enjoy meeting people who create the things that they love,” said Williams. “It’s great for them and it’s great for the readers. We’re the conduit for that sort of interaction.”

They see Firefly as a gathering place and meeting place for the community.

“We feel like we are a resource that can’t be matched by any online resource because we bring the knowledge and experience that you just can’t find replicated anywhere else. We believe that we’ve got such a huge range of products and range of different areas of interest that we can pretty much accommodate everybody and anybody,” said Williams.

Moving to the new location has been an incredibly big challenge, said Laincz.

“A good challenge, really seeing how much we can grow and change, and we’re still in the middle of a lot of it. We managed the part of getting it over here. Now we need to put everything. A place for everything in it’s place, which is a new challenge,” said Laincz.

They want to thank everyone involved in helping them during the move.

“Especially to all the volunteers who donated everything from time to food,” said Laincz. “People loaned us hand trucks and time.”

They gave a shout out to Betty’s, Mamma’s, Tamu at Mend Soul, and The Bagel Bar.

“We’ll be thanking all of those people at a gala event,” said Williams. “So many people have contributed so much time and effort and even money to helping us to do this.”

“We are incredibly grateful for how wonderfully receptive everybody has been to having us here and how much people have embraced us and utilized us and seen us as something that they value,” Williams said. “We’re looking forward to having a Grand Re-Opening Celebration sometime in the near future.”

Firefly Book Store carries new and used books, games, calendars and audio books both online and in their Kutztown store. For more information, visit the store at its new location at 271 W Main St., Kutztown, call 484-648-2712 or visit online at www.fireflybookstore.com/.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.