Whistlestop Bookshop offers a selection that pops (Review)


Spencer Pechart

Located on 129 West High Street, Whistlestop Bookshop sells a plethora of items and has a diverse selection for its shoppers.

Spencer Pechart, A&E writer, copyeditor

Whistlestop Bookshop sells books new and old, magazines, CDs, bookmarks, and almost anything that a bookworm could imagine.

Located on 129 West High Street, the bookstore opened in 1988.

“[I opened Whistlestop because] I loved selling books secondhand,” owner Jeff Wood said.

Wood has been doing this since high school.  “I opened the store by borrowing a small amount of money,” Wood said. “I applied my experience of managing an independent bookstore while in college.”

Whistlestop is a popular venue for Carlisle residents.

“It’s amazing that a local bookshop offers a wide variety of literature, and I go to the store frequently,” CHS senior Julia Lello said.

The bookstore has an authentic feel to its shoppers.

“When I was younger, I used to go to [their] Harry Potter midnight release parties and I always had a blast.  Everyone would dress up as different characters, and they always brought the books out from a cupboard [that was] under the stairs,” Lello said.

Another asset that Whistlestop offers is that it sells honey and other honey-related products.

“The beekeeper, Tom Jones, is a friend of ours.  Since I had been buying his honey for myself, he suggested that I carry it in the store.  [It adds] to our beekeeping and natural foods books, and to our ‘shop local, buy local’ ethic,” Wood said.

The service and selection of Whistlestop is unique, with its selection being hand-picked.

“I carefully comb hundreds of publishers’ and distributors’ catalogs during the year, I read dozens of periodicals with reviews, and I attend trade shows that alert booksellers to forthcoming titles.  Much sifting leads to my decisions about stock or letting customers know about certain books and/or recommendations,” Wood said.

Nestled in downtown Carlisle, the bookstore has a distinct ambiance.

“[Whistlestop] is a really lovely space filled with carefully selected books and thoughtful conversation,” Micala Hotra-Schubert, another CHS senior, said.

Hotra-Schubert works at Whistlestop as well.  “I love working there. I love talking and learning about books and giving recommendations to customers.”

According to Wood, the most enjoyable aspect about Whistlestop is that “he can put the right book in the right hands at the right time.”