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The Story of

The Book Jewel

The Book Jewel Story


It’s sometimes said that the journey of life simply teaches us how to return home and tell new stories in an old familiar place.


Karen Dial is all about Westchester. She grew up here. She remembers ____, ____, and Karl’s Toys. She went to ___ high school and she married her high school sweetheart before saying goodbye to Westchester to begin a life and family of her own.


As a parent, Karen knew that magical things happen when you read to your children.  Simple words and pictures awaken the intellect and ignite the imagination. She knew this from the countless hours spent as a child listening to the sound of her mother’s voice pouring over the page.  In stories and rhyme, her mother, Jewel, showed Karen a larger world and emboldened her to find her place in it. Her mother would say, “We are reading these words together… Here is a story…”


When the time came for Karen to return to Westchester, she gave a lot of thought to what returning home meant to her.  The familiar town that she had grown up in had changed dramatically in the years that she was away - even local landmarks like Karl’s Toys were gone forever. With her children off to college and her parents passed away, Karen took on the responsibility of running her family’s property management business guided by the simple principle of “How can I make a difference in the community we share?”


That’s when she realized what her community truly needed.  In the years that she had been away, Westchester had become a town without a bookstore.  She immediately resolved to open one and name it The Book Jewel after her mother.  


In Spring 2020, The Book Jewel will open its doors to the community in the old Karl’s Toys building that has been completely restored and refreshed for a community bookstore and a brilliant new restaurant, Tomat, created by Karen’s daughter Natalie and her partner Harry.


It turns out that opening a bookstore is a lot like opening a book… and reading these words together… Here is a new story.  The story of The Book Jewel.

Hometown News TBJ Article Nov 2019.jpg


Hometown News November 2019  by Stephanie Davis

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