Regulars here know that I love stumbling upon Amish home-based businesses.
I love Amish variety stores and, of course, bakeries, and bulk food stores. Occasionally, however, I stumble upon what I call “the holy grail “, these are Amish bookstores. Large Amish communities have a need for books. They’re homeschoolers that need books, and Amish people like to read as much as anybody else and most don’t have access to Amazon. So having Amish bookstores available in in the community is a real asset.
So when I was in Daviess County Indiana recently I discovered an Amish bookstore. It is called Maple Lane Bookstore at 6726 E 400 N, Montgomery, IN 47558-5291. It was wonderful to visit. It was later in the day, but they were still open. And it was effectively an Amish “Barnes & Noble “ The store is run by Lydia and Darrell Wagler and they really do a super job curating their books.
There were rows and rows of books, most tilted towards religious and conservative texts, but there were also plenty of mainstream secular texts, murder mysteries, cookbooks, and children's books. Like most Amish bookstores, religion is a key theme.
The bookstore had a lot of Bibles and German-language religious texts for a specifically Amish clientele. I'm guessing that probably half their customers are Amish, 30 percent tourists, and 20 percent local non-Amish.
The bookstore featured several well-stocked rows of books. They accept cash or check only and, of course, no electric anywhere in the store!
There were also best-sellers like these Bill O'Reilly books. I've read the one about Lincoln.
I almost bought the "Murder in Amish Country" book, looked like an interesting mystery.
They have a superb Amish cookbook section, including - these are my favorites - local cookbooks showcasing Daviess County Amish recipes.
They have some toys and trinkets for sale also.
The bookstore is located on the Wagler's home property, laundry on the line outside serves as a reminder of that. Wagler is, by the way, a very common Amish last name in this settlement.