120: The Hatter’s Bookshop – Tales of a Small Bookstore on Mercer Street

The second episode of Mercer Grassroots March took us to The Hatter’s Bookshop. Tammy Dotson has loved reading ever since she was a child. Her father used to read to her every night, and to this day, getting lost in a book is her favorite pastime.

Tammy started The Hatter’s Bookshop on Mercer Street after she found herself with an empty nest. She bought a store formerly known as Dayfly Books and Collectibles and transformed it into her vision. The name came from her son’s favorite book – Alice in Wonderland. This cozy storefront houses shelves upon shelves of literary treasures. What’s unique about The Hatter’s Bookshop is that it’s an entirely used bookstore – meaning they only sell used books, no new releases. They accept book donations and will also buy books from customers. But as with all small businesses, there were plenty of ups and downs. Tammy says she’s learned the importance of keeping regular business hours, and that customer loyalty is something extremely valuable. Most people may think, “Why start a bookstore when technology is at the forefront of today’s society?” But for Tammy and her customers, the answer to that question is simple: nothing can replace the feel of a real book.

The next time you’re in Princeton, stop by The Hatter’s Bookshop and peruse the shelves – you may find your next adventure hidden in the pages of a book.