The Hockessin BookShelf is a new and used bookstore located in Hockessin, Delaware established in 2002. Like our state, the BookShelf, with 826 square feet of inventory space, is a small wonder. We stock a little bit of everything with our largest sections being fiction, mystery, romance and children’s books.
Jen Blab is the new owner of the Hockessin BookShelf. She has always been a reader and worked in bookstores for years, even managing one for a while. Then she switched to libraries, working at the Kennett Library for the past few years. Jen absolutely loves books and is thrilled to take over ownership of the Hockessin BookShelf as the prior owner, Rebecca Dowling, relocates to California.
Events have become an integral part of our store, in 2014 we completed renovations which allowed us to hold more events in house. We now host authors, both nationally and locally published, non-author events, book clubs and workshops. For us the Shop Local movement is a way of life and our store’s health is dependent on the health of our neighbors. Maintaining strong community partnerships is very important to us; story time at the Woodside Farm Creamery during the summer, Book Groups at local restaurants, Cookbook Club at Delaware Nature Society’s Coverdale Farm Preserve, and collaborations with local schools and teachers are just a few examples.
At the Hockessin BookShelf we are known for our customer service and a well-read staff — we love books and our reading habits are eclectic, covering all niches from genres to literature, biographies to children’s books. We have become the go to store for summer reading, book groups and fun in-store promotions.
Meet Our Staff
What is your favorite book? My Ántonia by Willa Cather.
Besides reading, I also like to ... spend time with my family, take my dog on hikes, listen to Podcasts, write letters to friends & family, play board games & do puzzles.
Where is the best place to grab a quick meal in Hockessin? The Perfect Cup. I love their breakfast burritos!
What books do you like to recommend? Fiction/Contemporary Lit/Classics. Some of my go-to authors are Wallace Stegner, Ann Patchett, Louise Erdrich, and Cormac McCarthy.
What is your favorite part of being a bookseller? I get to be immersed in books…what could be better?
What is your favorite book? I love books and it’s hard to choose, so I will go with the first book I truly loved, Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.
Besides reading, I also like to … Spend time with my daughters and stream tv, play mah jongg, go to wine tastings, bake, create event decor, but mostly READ!
Where is the best place to grab a quick meal in Hockessin? Redfire Grill - I love their chopped salad!
What books do you like to recommend? I like mysteries and contemporary fiction - I usually recommend Lisa Unger, Harlan Coben, and Vaseem Khan; Kristin Hannah, Diane Chamberlain, and Joshilyn Jackson. My guilty pleasure is magical realism and I recommend Lev Grossman, Jordanna Max Brodsky and Samantha Shannon.
What is your favorite part of being a bookseller? Smelling the books, holding the books, talking to our customers about books… and opening a new box of advanced reader copies and discovering what is inside!
What is your favorite book? Like most avid readers, it’s hard for me to pick just one. As a kid, my “first” favorite book was The Secret Garden. My most recent favorite was Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades. My favorite Children’s book would be anything by Mo Willems.
Besides reading, I also like to ... do things that allow me to spend more time reading or listening to books - sitting on the beach, walking in the park, even chauffeuring my kids.
Where is the best place to grab a quick meal in Hockessin? Drip Cafe - I love a good breakfast!
What books do you like to recommend? I read across quite a few genres, but I often recommend my favorite contemporary fiction or historical fiction titles. Authors I enjoy include Marie Benedict, Amor Towles, and Emily Henry.
What is your favorite part of being a bookseller? I love hearing another reader’s impression of a book that we’ve both read. I could talk books for hours!
What is your favorite book? Picking a favorite book is VERY hard, but I would have to say that I love the book, The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson. It’s a great story, and I highly recommend it!!
Besides reading, I also like to ... Movies are a big one for me… Similar to books, I like a wide variety, but especially Marvel and Star Wars. I also like listening to music and playing with my cats!
Where is the best place to grab a quick meal in Hockessin? My mom and I love going to the Back Burner To Go. They have really good soup there and a lot of other things! They also sell Woodside’s ice cream which is so good.
What books do you like to recommend? One book that I think is such a good read is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. It captures such an incredible story, and it’s one of my favorites. An auto biography I love is We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu. It tells the story of him and his family and how he grew to become an actor. Lastly, really any of Bruce Cameron’s books, but especially A Dog’s Purpose!
What is your favorite part of being a bookseller? My favorite part has to be just interacting with the people there. I haven't been working there long, but everyone is so nice, and it’s so great being able to learn everything about the store.
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