Baldwin’s Book Barn: A Book Lover’s Dream


Caleigh Lydon

Books, books, and more books! This is just a sneak peak of the thousands of books you can browse at Baldwin’s Book Barn.

Caleigh Lydon, Staff Reporter

Calling all book lovers!  If you are looking for somewhere to find thrifted books at a fair price, Baldwin’s Book Barn is the place for you.

Baldwin’s Book Barn is a place for people of all ages. From young kids browsing the fiction section to adults browsing historical books, the barn has so much to offer. Located on Lenape Road in West Chester, Baldwin’s Book Barn is every avid reader’s paradise.

Though the barn itself was built in 1822, and is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, the barn did not become what it is today until 1946, when William and Lila Baldwin moved their book and collectible business from Wilmington, DE. In the Book Barn, there are five floors and over 300,000 books, old and new, of any genre you can think of. At each stair case there is a sign indicating what genres are featured on the next floor. In case you get lost or are looking for a specific genre, there are maps when you first walk in or on each floor.

There is much more than books in the barn. On top of selling used and rare books, Baldwin’s also sells manuscripts, maps of local areas, fine paintings, prints, estate antiques, and other collectibles. I have been quite a few times, and every time I leave with more books than can fit on my shelf. I will say it is quite easy to get lost while browsing, but there could be worse places to lose track of where you are. It definitely is an entire day trip, so if you plan on going, make sure your schedule is clear. My favorite part is the collection of antique chairs located throughout the barn, inviting you to sit, read, and stay a while.

During my most recent visit, I talked with Fred, one of the three employees there. He was super kind and happy to answer any and all questions I had. He said he has been at the barn for over twenty years! Fred told me that due to COVID, they are only accepting donations, but in past years they would buy and trade on top of donations. Of course I had to ask him what his favorite genre is and he told me he was an English teacher, so obviously, it’s fiction.

When I spoke with senior Ryenn Sovich about her trips to Baldwin’s Book Barn, she gave me quite a glowing review and said, “It’s easily one of my favorite places to get books. I personally love walking through the shelves and seeing books old and new. If I had to rate it, I would give it a 15/10.”

If you are ever in need of a fun local activity, whether you’re a book fanatic or not, I would recommend stopping by Baldwin’s Book Barn.  Learn more about their business, including their location and hours, by visiting their website.