In 2005, Classics Books came to Trenton, successfully recruited by the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), when part of its mission was to recruit retail businesses. Matt Bergheiser, then Executive Director of the TDA, led a burst of growth on South Warren. In this time period, empty dirt lots and gutted buildings were turned into buildings that now house delis and the AT&T store and a yoga studio. The Zagat’s rated Italian restaurant Settimo Cielo came to Front Street. And Classics Books came to town.
Classics started as part of a TDA co-op on South Warren, expanded to take over the entire space and eventually 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 top-of-the-line 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. They supported authors–from neighborhood Shakespeares to Pultizer Prize winning Yusef Komunyakaa. They printed the Trenton Review, hosted booksignings and sponsored the 2008 Trenton Book Fair.
In those ten years, they played Scrabble on 520 Friday nights–each night until midnight in the heart of Trenton. They played Cards against Humanity, the Name Game and Civilization. They knitted, and origamied, and discussed urban development. They hosted the filming of music videos, mayoral hopeful meet and greets, jazz bands, rock bands and belly dancers.
In those ten years, they 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 those ten years, people made good friends, found jobs, found publishers, supported local businesses, built a life, built a community.
Classics in ten years old in April. To celebrate, one party didn’t seem like enough.
- 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 featuring poets Janelle T. Harvey and Jay Knives. FREE event. 50% off all poetry books.
- April 10 from 6 pm to midnight, the Trenton Scrabble Club will have a 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, visit https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Capital-City-Book-Fair/450123515140208.
Happy 10th Birthday Classics!