Maplewood Bookstore Featured on “Today Show” for Autism Month

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Over a decade ago, Jonah Zimiles left his law firm to spend more time with his son Daniel, who has autism. When he and his wife Ellen learned that the local Maplewood bookstore was closing, they decided to buy it.

Now their independent bookstore, called [words], has become well known for hiring and welcoming people with special needs, and for having one of the largest collections of special needs books in the country.

And on Thursday, the store was featured on NBC’s “Today Show” as the first bookstore to be featured as part of the three-year-old Jenna Hager Bush Book Club.

The show’s producers decided to highlight local bookstores to help small businesses during the pandemic.

“Since April is Autism Awareness Month,” the show noted in an article, “our very first local bookstore projector is [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, New Jersey – an award-winning independent bookstore that focuses on helping the community with special needs. “

In an article, the show noted that the store has provided vocational training to more than 100 people with autism.

But the pandemic has affected the company, which currently offers curbside book pickup and delivery rather than store browsing.

Booksellers were grateful to the Today show, Tweeter their thanks on Thursday. And Harlan Coben noted in a Tweet, “New Jerseyites: Kudos to a great independent bookstore that does great good for the community. Please watch and support @wordsbookstore. “

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