I’ve always loved books and I often seek the refuge of bookstores in my area.
There is a mixture of big-box chain bookstores and independent bookstores in the greater Raleigh-area and I thought I’d visited them all. So I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon an independent bookstore in Wake Forest, secreted away amongst a community theater and a dance school. I couldn’t wait to explore.
Page 158 Books is located in downtown Wake Forest. The first thing you notice is the outdoor seating. It looks like a great place to soak in the sun as you melt into your latest book. There are tables and chairs set up and a cart of books that are listed at a special price. On a warmer day, I would definitely take advantage.
With the wonderful aroma of coffee and books filling the cozy space, I immediately felt at home. I was greeted by both of the women who were running the store that day.
As you enter the store, you can’t help but see a table with their featured author, Tim Johnston, the New York Times bestselling author of The Current. The staff was very friendly and informative, expressing their excitement for Johnston’s upcoming book signing. One of the bookstore employees shared the date and time of the event and explained that there would be refreshments and specials on beer and wine.
As I made my way around the space, I noticed a large children’s section with a train set in the center. As the mother of a small child, I love bookstores that offer play stations as well as books. My son thoroughly enjoyed playing with the trains. One of the staff gave me a book recommendation for my son, which I appreciated. They had classics like Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You, two of my childhood favorites, as well as a variety of Dr. Suess books and the ever-popular Pete the Cat. They also have a great selection of new titles. They did a great job with making this section look fun and inviting for kids of all ages.
Moving from the children’s section along the main wall that houses the largest section of books, I notice a book ladder, which brought a historical element to the rather modern look of the store. There is local artwork displayed and for sale around the store. In the back, there is coffee setup and bright red couches for guests to lounge on while enjoying their reads. At the checkout counter, there are a variety of pins, bookmarks and hand knitted decorations for sale.
I inquired if they had a book club, and was pleased to discover that not only do they have one they have multiple clubs for different genres. The helpful employee gave me a print out that listed the dates and times for each book club meeting and the books each club would be covering that month.
They have a fantastic variety of titles in stock and a marvelous young adult section which was my personal favorite. Looking for a title you can’t find? No worries the sales staff are able to pull up the inventory and order it to their store for you in about two days.
This is a wonderful place to visit and I love supporting local bookstores. This was my first visit to Page 158, but it won’t be my last. It has quickly become my new favorite spot to visit. The ladies running the store did a splendid job answering questions and helping me find a few titles that I had been looking for as well as introducing me to new authors. I loved every corner of this store and how modern style was blended with a few old fashioned elements. They show support for local artists and crafters as well as new and upcoming authors.
The next time you’re in Wake Forest, NC don’t forget to check out Page 158 Books. They are located at 415 S Brooks St. Wake Forest, NC 27587.
Page 158 Books is one of our Five Best Bookstores In North Carolina.
Anika lives in Raleigh, NC.