Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, Pennsylvania, is a work of art – literally. The exterior of the massive shop is adorned with a colorful bookshelf mural, depicting the spines of many a classic.
And the artistry doesn’t stop once you step inside. Handwritten customer messages adorn the shelves (“You guys have opened so many doors for me and I love it,” read one) and a Yellow Brick Road painted on the floor winds its way to a large Emerald City mural. And have I mentioned the gorgeous archway made of books?
It’s a shop brimming with creativity, vibrancy, and whimsy – largely the vision of shop owner Michelle Mioff-Haring, a lifelong lover of books. (The mural was painted by a former intern, who now works at the shop.)
“I always wanted to do books,” says Michelle, a former history teacher. “With my husband’s help it grew way beyond what I ever imagined.”
When the shop opened in its first location in 1998, it specialized in custom-built furniture and gifts crafted by Michelle’s husband, Jason, with only a small selection of books. More than twenty years later, it occupies a 6,500-square-foot building (its third location) and has an estimated 150,000 titles displayed on beautiful tall shelves, most of which were built by Jason. A peek into the backroom revealed thousands more books yet to hit the sales floor.
The massive selection consists mostly of gently used titles in every genre imaginable, as well as a section of new titles. In-person sales are supplemented with an active online store, and events such as book signings, writing groups, and book clubs – not to mention pet adoptions – keep customers coming back.
Wait – pet adoptions? Yes. The shop also takes the “bookstore cat” concept to new heights. Look up and you’ll see photos of the many cats that have been adopted through the bookshop. There are typically a couple cats up for adoption at any given time, in conjunction with a local rescue group.
A welcoming staff, a colorful aesthetic, thousands of books, and cats! Cupboard Maker Books is definitely one of my more memorable bookshop visits.
Cupboard Maker Books is located at 157 North Enola Road, Enola, Pennsylvania. Open daily.