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Watchung Booksellers

Meet the Owners Margot and Maddie!

Stepping through the doors of Watchung Booksellers, you’re immediately embraced by that unmistakable scent of paper and ink, mingling with the laughter and chatter of a community that’s found its haven. Margot Sage-El and her daughter Maddie Ciliotta-Young join us to recount their extraordinary tale of transforming a mail-order catalog into a bustling local landmark.

We learn about the growth that Margot heralded.  Now with Maddie taking over there are new initiatives like “Friday Favorites” and ‘The Kids Room’ a few doors down.  It’s not just a book lovers’ paradise, but also a place to be social and meet up with your fellow New Jerseyans.



Also available on YouTube.

Buy Books Now at Watchung Booksellers

Partnerships in Town

Shout Outs
Businesses started by friends of Maddie

Margot’s Nature Walks


Podcast Episode Summary: “Montclair Bookstore: A Conversation with Margot and Maddie”


The episode features a conversation with Margot and Maddie, the owners of a beloved bookstore in Montclair, New Jersey. The hosts discuss the bookstore’s history, their personal journey, and the recent expansion of their store to cater to a wider audience.

Margot’s Journey

Margot shares her background, from her time in publishing to the creation of a mail-order book catalog for diverse books. The challenges of finding books for her interracial family led her to start the catalog, which gained local support and eventually led to the bookstore’s establishment.

Maddie’s Involvement

Maddie, Margot’s daughter, talks about her initial reluctance to join the bookstore but eventually deciding to retire from her job and join the family business. Her energy and fresh ideas have brought new life to the bookstore, leading to a more vibrant and engaging experience for customers.

Bookstore Events and Community Engagement

The hosts discuss the bookstore’s events, including author signings and book discussions, highlighting the importance of community support and engagement. They also mention partnerships with local businesses and organizations to promote literacy and reading culture in Montclair.

Genre Trends and Book Recommendations

The conversation touches on genre trends, including the impact of TikTok on book sales, the popularity of romance novels, and the importance of graphic novels for young readers. The hosts emphasize the value of professional booksellers in recommending diverse and engaging books to customers.

Local Author Events and Community Outreach

The hosts talk about hosting local author events and collaborating with the community to promote literacy and reading. They share insights into the selection process for books, the importance of representation in their inventory, and the support they receive from the Montclair community.

Expansion and Future Plans

The episode concludes with a discussion on the bookstore’s expansion, including the launch of a new store for children’s books and the upcoming podcast series. The hosts express gratitude for the community’s support and share their excitement for future endeavors.


The hosts thank the listeners for tuning in and invite them to engage with the bookstore through their website, events, and online platforms. The episode highlights the bookstore’s commitment to fostering a love of reading and building a vibrant literary community in Montclair.

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