SHELTON, Conn. — Written Word Bookstore keeps it lively in downtown Shelton, hosting everything from a Jigsaw Puzzle Club to local authors such as WTNH anchor Ann Nyberg who recently talked up her new book on actress Katharine Hepburn.
The person who keeps it all running at the Written Word is owner Dorothy Sim-Broder, who seems to have found the "secret sauce."
One look at the "About Us" portion of her website will have you smiling, if not downright enthralled, when you read her honest portrayal of the "the drama, the suspense, the heartbreak, and the horror" of starting the business in 2007.
The store, which moved to its current location in downtown Shelton in May 2015, is all about the love of books. Sim-Broder runs the store with her husband, David, a financial planner, and gets help from sons Harrison and Joshua.
"We're a book-loving family," she said. And her love for the craft shines through -- not only in the witty prose on her website, but in the store itself where personalized customer service is front and center.
"At small bookstores, we try to expand your horizons," she said. "We want to expose you to authors you haven't heard of, ones that might not be a best seller. We all have our favorites, and we're constantly reading."
Luckily, Sim-Broder said the volatility of the book industry is slowly simmering down as electronic and print find their balance. "More independent bookstores are cropping up as the electronic generation of readers are discovering the joy of holding a print book in their hands, marveling in the new sensation," she said.
It helps that she's personally vested and 99.9 percent of the time is the one in the store among the stacks or behind the counter. She credits the success of her business to the new generation that is growing up to be socially conscious, from protecting the environment to supporting local.
"Shelton is very fortunate to have 'Celebrate Shelton,' which helps shine the spotlight on small independents like us, she said. "There is strength in numbers and we are a louder voice when we come together, so the support system is there."
In addition, she cross markets and refers customers to other Shelton businesses. Said Sim-Brody: "I'll be the first to admit that we're still here after nine years because we have wonderful loyal customers, strategic marketing partnerships, shop local campaigns, creative in-house events and a timeless product: books."
Written Word is at 415 Howe Ave., (203) 944-0400, www.writtenwordsbookstore.com/.
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