When married couple Andy Laties and Rebecca Midgal sought to open a store that would combine their two passions, the result was Book and Puppet Company. Opened on Northampton Street this past August, Book and Puppet Company combines Laties’ love for books and Midgal’s love for puppetry.
Easton’s first and only trade bookstore, Book and Puppet Company has two specialties: children’s books and graphic novels. While the majority of the store is comprised of children’s books, there is also a selection for adult customers. Book and Puppet also boasts a collection of social-action oriented books, as well as numerous contemporary best-sellers. Book and Puppet Company is a “general bookstore,” Laties said, but the largest selection is definitely geared toward children’s books.
Laties said Book and Puppet hosts around fifteen events per week. These events include story hours, puppet shows, writer’s group meetings, political candidate’s forums and needle-felting workshops. Book and Puppet also regularly offers graphic novel workshops for aspiring graphic novelists. He added that anyone interested in this field should take advantage of this service, as both Laties and Midgal are graphic novelists. Aside from conducting puppet shows, Midgal is also an editor of the political comics anthology “World War III Illustrated,” the longest-running political comics anthology in the nation.
While Book and Puppet Company is most advertised for its books and puppet theater, it also hosts various social-action and political events. Lafayette students might be interested in these events, Laties said. This Friday, a candidate’s forum will be held at Book and Puppet Company, where candidates for the Easton City Council and Northampton County Council will speak.
Book and Puppet also regularly hosts open mic nights, as well as puppet shows for adults on Saturdays at 9:00 PM, which Laties described as often “raucous” events. According to Laties, Midgal is the puppeteer for both children and adult puppet shows.
Book and Puppet plans to start hosting local Lehigh Valley authors at the shop, Laties said. Although fairly new to Easton, Laties has already reached out to several authors about coming to Book and Puppet Company and has plans to reach out to more. This Saturday, Book and Puppet will be hosting local author Joe Frinzi, author of “Kubrick’s Monolith,” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
While numerous smaller-scale bookstores have fallen prey to the rise of book-selling corporate giants like Barnes and Nobles and online book stores, Laties holds that “at this point, it’s a very good time to be opening independent bookstores.”
Book and Puppet is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., as well as from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. on Sundays.