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The Doylestown and Lahaska bookshops sold


Doylestown Borough’s iconic independent bookstore has new owners.

The much-loved shop at 16 S. Main St. was bought just days ago by Lauren and Damian Ford, who also own Hendrixson’s Furniture stores in Furlong and Emmaus.

The transaction also includes its sister store, The Lahaska Bookshop, in Peddler’s Village.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Lauren Ford, of the sale. “I’ve always wanted to own a bookstore, and to stay in the community is wonderful.”

The longtime Buckingham residents said they’ve been discussing the potential deal with now-former owner Glenda Childs for several years. The couple’s 25-year-old daughter, Honor Ford, has been working at the store for about six years and Lauren volunteered, helping with events and author visits.

“This has been something we’ve thought about for a long time, ‘wouldn’t it be great to own a bookstore’,” said Damian Ford. “We’re fortunate, blessed to live in this community where there’s so much support for small businesses and the bookstore. We’re very excited about the future.”

About three years ago, Damian remembered, his wife received a thank-you card from Childs, where she wrote, “You’d make a great bookstore owner.”

That just furthered their growing interest in buying the business, he said.

Like Childs, Lauren said, “I love the idea of helping people find the right book and finding out what the community wants.”

She hopes to continue the “great work” of Childs, and maintain the landmark store’s loyal following and “wonderful staff,” said Ford.

While the Fords are not planning any immediate changes, Lauren said she hopes to expand the store’s connection with the area’s schools. She’d like to have more children’s authors visit and “develop the love of reading” among young people.

The Lahaska Bookshop in Peddler’s Village, which Childs opened in 2017, will continue to offer a special space for tourists and regular visitors, the Fords said.

“Both Lauren and I are committed to nurturing the soul of these community gems, infusing them with the values that have defined our journey thus far,” said Damian, in a statement.

For Childs, selling the store that also fulfilled her long-held dream feels “both good and bittersweet,” she said. “It’s my baby.”

Still, “it’s a good time to make a transition,” said Childs, who turns 65 on Saturday.

Finding a well-qualified buyer “as passionate about books as I am,” was very important. Doylestown Bookshop, she said, “is a legacy in the community. I want to be sure it continues, as Pat (Gerney) would, too.”

Gerney owned the store until 2012.

And, added Childs, “I’m so grateful to our staff, our customers, our community. I thank you all for making my dreams come true.”

Asked what she’ll be doing in retirement, Childs answered quickly. “I want to read more books.” The Fords, she noted, gave her a lifetime store discount.

Childs will continue operating the store through the end of the year, as she works with Lauren to take over the reins.

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