Down on the Plaza, next door to Eden Vale’s wine tasting room, is a cozy, magical bookstore all for youngsters. The Tree House Children’s Bookstore has been in business for 33 years. The fourth owner of the store, LadyJane, bought the bookstore in April of 2010. I had the pleasure of talking to her daughter, Brenna, who described the family-owned atmosphere in the bookstore as fun, lighthearted and appealing for all age groups and families.
The Tree House is one of two bookstores in the state of Oregon designed and specific to literature for children; the other store located on the other end of the state in Portland. She shared the history of the bookstore, explaining that the shop was a bank before a bookstore. The room in the far back of the store, once examined, clearly resembles a vault.
Brenna shared with me why working in the family owned and operated bookstore is such a blast. She loves kids, which surely the bookstore gets a lot of. Its a creative shop and there is always something new and exciting. She also said it brings her back to a simpler time; back home.
The Tree House specializes in children’s literature (obviously) but it offers so much more. There are books for young children, high school level and even a small section reserved for adult best sellers. The shop also offers whimsical objects, art work, cards, little knick knacks and even puppets. I found myself lost in colors. Everything I looked at was covered in bright colors or sparkle, taking me back to my carefree childhood instantly.
Unlike the future of paper back, adult fiction and hard backs, children’s literature will always have a market with traditional, glossy hard back books. Brenna voiced a common theme from many of the other bookstores around town: people like having a physical book in front of them and within their hands. She continued, along a different path than the other bookstores, by stating that children books are “creation in front of you- special.” Will we ever get to the point where we will see four years olds cozied up reading Winnie the Pooh on the Kindle?
If you are a local of Ashland or have the chance, while traveling through, to visit this little bookstore, do not miss your time to experience the magic. Just because the sign reads “Children’s bookstore” should not hinder adults of all ages to enter into a land of literary magic. The atmosphere, friendly faces and colorful splendor of the Tree House will take you back to your childhood, where you can sit down and enjoy a big, glossy picture book.