When I was in college there was a small bookstore downtown called DJ Ernst Books. At the end of the semester freshman year, one of our professors took us downtown to visit the bookstore and bought us each a book. I ended up visiting DJ Ernst bookstore throughout my four years. Sometimes to pick up a book, other times to just chat with the owner Hommer. He had an old-school cash register, and a lot of the books were in old milk crates.

Blake Cheek on Unsplash
Blake Cheek on Unsplash

I would always go in looking for Edgar Allan Poe books because he would carry original copies. Some of the bindings on the books you would find in his store were so beautiful you would buy them just to have.

Source Adobe Stock By LeitnerR
Source Adobe Stock By LeitnerR

There is a feeling of joy I feel when I enter a bookstore. A feeling of endless possibilities and worlds to dive into and get lost in. Looking at all the books displayed, all demanding your attention. If I don’t walk in with an idea of what I’m looking for, I end up just looking for a cover that calls my name.

Once I find something that catches my eye, I’ll flip to a random page in the book, and give it a read. If I find myself wanting to read more, then it’s a book I want to take home.

Clay Banks on Unsplash
Clay Banks on Unsplash

New Jersey is home to a ton of local bookstores, including second-hand bookstores. I asked our listeners and readers for their favorite bookstores in New Jersey, check out their suggestions

Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro
Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro

Amy Flynn

Old Book Shop, Morristown

Ally McHugh

Old Book Shop in Morristown, an amazing selection of used books as well as postcards, photos, sheet music

Amy Wekselman

Indigo in Short Hills Mall

Tiffany Kung

WORD Bookstore in Jersey City!

Kristen Gray

WORD in Jersey City

Brady Beach Dillon

WORDS in Maplewood

John S Spot

Words in Maplewood 

John S Spot

Chatham Bookseller


Jay Luschenat

Montclair Book Center can't be beat.


Nino Beattie

Little Boho bookshop in Bayonne

Jen Cody

Boho book shop in Bayonne. The owner is the sweetest woman and very knowledgeable.

Christina Bonito

Symposia in Hoboken

Ali Gillis

The Book Barn in Denville!

Ruth Roberto

Broad Street Books in Branchville

Phoebe Yankowski

Bookends in Ridgewood

Noreen Moran

Sparta Book Store. Very welcoming atmosphere. Wonderful people.

Amanda Holbert Haas

Sparta book store!!! They are wonderful! Friendly, helpful and cheerful!


Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro
Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro


Jamie Oksenhorn

Bookworm in Bernardsville! They are the best and have wonderful recommendations. Any book they don’t have, they get in right away.

Ryan C Pidor

Cindelle's Bookstore in Plainfield 

Karen Lawler Pascale

Panoply in Lambertville

Jay Luschenat

Act 2 Books in Flemington.

Karen Meyer Yowell

Act 2 Books in Flemington


Christine Hagin 

Here’s the Story in Union, great store and Joe is amazing, he will get anything you need! 

Nikki Schreiber

Here’s the Story in Union! The owner, Joe, is super nice and knowledgeable! I won a grant for Holocaust related books for my classroom and he helped me compile a great list!

Jocelyn Hawkes

Here's The Story Bookstore! Right here in Union!

Anne Murdoch Sutton

The Frenchtown Bookshop

Elizabeth Ray

I like The Book Trader in Clark



Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro
Original Photo Source Adobe Stock By WavebreakMediaMicro

Kearny Sheila

The Cape Atlantic Book Co in Cape May doesn’t look particularly charming or inspiring, but I’ve NEVER walked out empty-handed (make of that what you will) 

Jennifer Clegg

Second Time Books in Rancocas Woods, Mount Laurel Township

Kearny Sheila

Hands down Asbury Book Co-operative in Asbury Park
Dayna Frieman Stein

Asbury Book Cooperative

Dayna Frieman Stein

River Road Books in Fair Haven


Love love love LBI Book Swap in beach haven! Multiple visits every year!


Thunder Road Books in Spring Lake


Hooked on Books in North Wildwood. The best.

Wrong Daddy

Booktowne in Manasquan

Jennifer Ziegler

Black Dog Books in Lafayette NJ.

Robert Weinstein
Two of my favorite places for purchasing books are the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library (including the book sales sponsored by Friends of MAPL) and the AAUW (Freehold) annual book sale. Admittedly, they're not commercial bookstores -- but your people should be reminded that there are additional local, NJ resources that offer books for sale AND that support local activities and scholarships. Lots of variety without resorting to online sales.

Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed

Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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