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Classics Books in Trenton Celebrates 10 Years

by Mary Galioto

Classics Books in Trenton is so much more than a bookstore, it is a community hub, a meeting place, a supporter of all-things Trenton and a place that gives back. This month, Classics is turning 10 years old and is celebrating their 10th (with a slew of fun-activities)!

Classics Books came to Trenton into 2005 after being successfully recruited by the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), as part of a movement to recruit retail businesses. It was a time when empty dirt lots and gutted buildings were turned into buildings that now house delis, AT&T stores, yoga studios. The Zagat’s rated Italian restaurant Settimo Cielo came to Front Street. And Classics Books came to town. TDA Executive Director, Matt Bergheiser, led a burst of growth on South Warren, where Classics started as part of a TDA co-op and then expanded to take over the entire space. Eventually, Classics moved to its current location, across from the hotel, at 4 West Lafayette.

In those ten years, Classics has dealt in metric tons of books–cookbooks, poetry, fiction, history, science, classic literature, art, science fiction, kids books. It sold first editions like The Cat in the Hat and leather bound Shaker histories. It has hosted book clubs, and Peoples and Stories, and poetry open mics — supporting authors from neighborhood Shakespeares to Pultizer Prize winning Yusef Komunyakaa, and printing the Trenton Review, hosting booksignings and sponsoring the 2008 Trenton Book Fair.

In those ten years in the heart of Trenton, Scrabble has been played on 520 Friday nights until midnight along with Cards against Humanity, the Name Game and Civilization. Classics goers knitted, and origamied, and discussed urban development. Classics hosted filming of music videos and film premieres, mayoral hopeful meet and greets, jazz bands, rock bands and belly dancers.

In those ten years, Classics distributed over 25,000 books to Trenton kids free of charge, through the Books at Home program, because having books in your home has a dramatic effect on how long kids stay in school and how well they do. In 2014, the Trenton Books at Home Program (run from Classics Books, 4 West Lafayette, in downtown Trenton) distributed $4326 worth of books to Trenton students.

In those ten years, people made good friends, found jobs, built a life, built a community.

Classics is ten years old in April. To celebrate, one party didn’t seem like enough so here’s the line up:

  • April 4 from 2 pm to 6 pm, poet Todd Evans, host of the Capital City Open Mic, will host a poetry marathon with poets and musicians from all over Mercer County. FREE event. 50% off all poetry books.
  • April 10 from 6 pm to midnight, the Trenton Scrabble Club will have a pot luck Scrabble party with prizes for every winner. All skill levels are welcome. FREE event. 50% off all used and rare books.
  • April 11 from 12 noon to 2 pm, the Trenton Knit and Stitch will toast community and creativity. FREE event. 50% off all craft books.
  • April 18 from 12 noon to 4 pm, the Trenton Party Games Coalition will break out Cards Against Humanity, Trivial Pursuit, Headbandz and the Name Game. FREE event. 50% off all used board games.
  • May 1 and 2, the Capital City Book Fair will line the streets with up to 100 authors and bookstores from Classics Books on one end to Mill Hill Park on the other.

For more information, check out Classic’s website http://www.classicsusedbooks.com.

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