As is true of most successful 21st century businesses, much of The Abbey Grange traffic comes via the internet (www.abbeygrange.com). A large basket of outgoing packages were bundled near the door when I arrived, waiting for shipment the next day. Packages will go all over the world, to such places as the United Kingdom, South Africa, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and, of course, throughout Europe and the United States. Spain has been his most recent bulk consumer, ordering mysteries of all persuasions. Rich, a former educator, is excited about his new business, and his wife, Tracy Van Patten-Sawicki, who works for the American Red Cross, shares this excitement. His daughter Martha, a high school senior, is the Abbey Grange’s interior decorator. She’s creating a warm, comfortable environment that sets the stage for Rich’s. It is a hospitable shop where customers sit around, coffee cups in hand, to browse through books and newspapers from all over the world. Eventually, you will even be able to bring in your laptops. Finally, there is Eli, a sixth grader who makes his contribution in enthusiasm and ideas.

When you visit the little shop on Lexington and chat with Rich, you know that it is a place where you will shop, meet friends, and “hang out” for years to come. Why not start this holiday season? What better way to think globally and shop locally than in a new neighborhood bookstore? By Diane McQuillen

The heart of Allentown is home to a new bookstore in an old bookstore building. It’s just what a used bookstore should be: old, quaint, warm, and filled with old friends. The owner fits right in. Richard Sawicki is a friendly, welcoming person, and he knows his books. He has had a lifelong relationship with every form of literature from paperback mysteries to the classics, and it is reflected in his eclectic collection. Although his personal passion is a good mystery, his shop meets the customers’ needs, with rare collectibles, literature, history, philosophy, religion, science, and new age books. In short, there is something for everybody.