- Store Events
- New & Noteworthy
- About Us
- Contact Us
- An Event with Neil Gaiman!
- Holiday Catalog 2013
Welcome to R.J. Julia Booksellers
Give us a call at (203) 245-3959 if you need any assistance during the holidays!
Located in the shoreline town of Madison, Connecticut, RJ Julia Booksellers has always been a place of inspiration, information, and excitement.
RJ Julia opened 23 years ago as an independent bookstore whose mission was, and is, to be a place where words matter, where writer meets reader, where the ambiance and selection and merchandising of books creates an atmosphere that is welcoming and presents the opportunity for discovery. Ultimately we are fiercely committed to putting the right book in the right hand.
We are extremely proud of having won major awards nationally, statewide and locally, including in part: Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year, Lucille Pannell award for bookselling excellence, Connecticut Magazine Best Bookstore, Connecticut Retailers Award for Community commitment, Advocate's Best Bookstore and the New Haven Business Small Business Award.
We host over 350 events a year. Authors from all over the country—some even from overseas—visit the store to inspire, educate, and entertain us.
In addition to a busy events schedule, we pride ourselves on having a knowledgeable staff, opinionated book selections (look for those little white "shelf-talker" tags), and a passion for reading. You can be sure that when you pick up any book at our store, it is one that we have hand-selected with specific reading audiences in mind.
RJ Julia continues to evolve with our customers and technology. Here on our Web site you can browse our hand-picked recommendations, learn about our upcoming events, purchase our favorite picks and ask questions or make suggestions--anytime, anywhere.
Why shop at RJ Julia, your local independent bookstore?
- To support a store that has contributed to the civic and creative life of this community for 20 years.
- To support your local community by keeping your shopping dollars local.
- To ensure that you have the continued opportunity to meet a varied and fascinating array of world-renowned and new authors.
- To ensure that you will always have a place to go where you can experience that wonderful sense of discovery that comes with finding a new book, a new author, a new genre, a new enthusiasm, an enlightening conversation or a quiet moment.
The goal at R. J. Julia Booksellers has always been about making a difference in the lives of our community, our staff, and our customers. In the building that had a previous life as Nick's Bar & Grill, Roxanne J. Coady, with the help of friends and family, created a welcoming place where books and conversation matter and where people would come to discover a book, browse and find just the book they wanted. Customers, or “readers", as we prefer to call them, can rely on our staff to put the right book in the right hand and we hope that we continue to serve as credible eyes and ears in an onslaught of advertising and the 50,000 books published each year.
The Store has always been about hope and possibility - even before Roxanne restored the abandoned
brick building on Madison's main street. Prior to 1989, the brick building stood empty, with soot and
grease marring both the exterior and interior. It was pretty typical of what you would expect an
old abandoned building to look like. But from its purchase, the building was much more than it appeared. It had character and, with the help of a picture taken in 1923, the building filled the community with life and spirit once again. The original team at R. J. Julia took great care to create new from old, without
destroying the old in the process. When the tin ceiling needed to be replaced, there was only one option:
to create a new ceiling by replicating the tin tiles of the original manufacturer. So, look up at the ceiling by the main registers - the green ceiling that you see is a reminder of Nick's Bar & Grill and the transformation that took place with hard work, hope, and the belief in opening possibilities.
Before Roxanne moved from New York City and before the building was renovated, R. J. Julia existed as a possibility. Prior to 1989, Roxanne Coady had a successful twenty year career as a partner in a New York City accounting firm; Roxanne's husband Kevin, was an accomplished real estate developer.
They shared their time between the city and a house on the shore in Branford, CT., until the
Coadys decided to live in Connecticut more permanently. Roxanne had an easy time deciding what she'd like to do in her new location: sell books. So R. J. Julia Booksellers was created.
The Store has been well-established ever since, creating the kind of place for the surrounding community that offered advice, education, entertainment, and a place where people could simply chat about books and talk with writers. In the year 2000, R. J. Julia Booksellers celebrated ten years of serving the community and throughout much of that time has been a nationally recognized independent bookstore. Publisher's Weekly, the highly respected newsmagazine for publishers and booksellers, nominated it as the 1995 Bookseller of the Year. That nomination helped the bookstore expand its floor space and its author appeal. The attached yellow building now houses more books and includes a children's section and space for the author visits that occur at least a few times every week.
With increased author visits, more books, the R J Cafe and a staff of over forty people, R. J. Julia
Booksellers is able to offer its readers much of what they desire and most of what they need. Roxanne jokes that people have found a new "invention" in us. The internet notion of real time - live chats and help lines - is the telephone or visiting the Store, asking for information and support, having a rewarding experience. After all, that's part of our job here, to make people feel satisfied and add to their day as a result of coming into or calling the Store.
But most of what has contributed to the Store's strength and reputation are the incredible staff who are
or have been part of R. J. Julia. They bring their charm, opinions, experience, and love of words and books and add to the ebb and flow and energy that makes R. J. Julia.
Our jobs and the goals of the Store, also rely heavily on a perspective found in The Art of Possibility by
Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander: "Art after all, is about rearranging us, creating
surprising juxtapositions, emotional openings, startling presences, flight paths to the eternal."
R. J. Julia Booksellers has always set out to be a place to offer the possibility for someone to feel
surprised, to laugh out-loud, experience the awe of something new or something old in a new light,
or even find hope.