Town House Books

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A trip to the memorable Town House Books in St. Charles will captivate you almost as much as reading a book itself. The building was the former residence of the city of St. Charles that dates back to 1853. The architecture of the building falls under the category of Greek Revival Victorian architecture, which creates the tone for the small, cozy bookstore.

“We have a quiet atmosphere like a small library,” said Town House Books part owner Marilou Kelly.

The rows of bookshelves are crammed with books, lined up throughout the maze of rooms, nooks and crannies. The building is packed with books; in one place, a pile of books on the shelves reaches up to the chandeliers. Other stacks of books cover tables or even fill fireplaces. The shopper is drawn into the eccentric feeling of the place, just like a reader being swallowed into the story of a book. The decorative trim, hardwood floors and overall homey touches truly makes the building a story of its own. 

Albeit a beautiful building, both interior and exterior, the owner Kelly says that “appearance is not the only difference at Town House Books – we’re dedicated to the books.” Kelly opened the shop 15 years ago. “New titles are important and so are the older books that should have long and happy lives.” Kelly said that they try to keep both old and new books around, which is why the bookshop is rather crowded. They also have a large range of subjects and topics.

The former president of the Kane County Bar Association, Wiley Edmonson, who is a frequent Town House patron, sums up the range of book inventory as mostly books that he didn’t even know existed, but they are all books that he has to read, all classics.

A favorite section for the regulars is the eclectic topics in the No Rhyme or Reason category. Another popular event is the Book Discussion Club, which meets on the second Sunday of each month in the upstairs reading room and is moderated by David Holm. Also, Town House Books resident cat, named Garp, is a favorite of the visitors. 

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Located on Century Corners, the historic site of the first homes built in St. Charles, that happens to all be shops now, is Town House Books. Many people make a stop at the bookstore as part of the visit through this area. Town House Books is located at 105 N. 2nd Ave., St. Charles, IL, and is open 7 days a week.

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