Here For YOU

WordPlay is a community-minded independent bookstore, nurturing a love of reading and play in the small Appalachian town of Wardensville, West Virginia and beyond.

As the only independent bookstore in the tri-county area, WordPlay offers opportunities to meet authors, discuss books, have fun, and build new relationships with neighbors. We hope you’ll consider WordPlay your local resource for great reads for all ages, as well as games, puzzles, and hands-on fun for young and old. 

On our bookshelves, you’ll see new and recent releases, fiction and non-fiction for all ages, a collection of Appalachian stories, and most likely some books you’ve never heard of before (but we think you’ll really enjoy). On your first visit, be sure to sign up for our Frequent Buyers Club so you’ll receive email updates, invitations to special events, and valuable savings.



Marlene here. I’m a West Virginia native, born and raised in Martinsburg, where my mom grew up. My dad hailed from Levels in nearby Hampshire County and dearly loved this part of West Virginia. Our family enjoyed many trips over the mountains for summer vacations at Lost River State Park. My husband Tom is a West Virginian by marriage (lucky guy). He hails from Williamsburg, Virginia, although no one in his family walked around in Colonial garb. Prior to his retail life, he was an environmental scientist. Selling toys and books is way more fun!

Tom and I tied the knot in West Virginia in 1988 and in 1994 settled near Frederick, Maryland, where we’ve raised our two sons and opened two retail shops – Curious Iguana, born in 2013, and Dancing Bear Toys, which opened in 2000.

We spent nearly four years planning and scheming for WordPlay and were thrilled to open our doors in September 2020. We’ve been warmly welcomed by neighbors and visitors alike and look forward to meeting you and yours!

Food. Shopping. Lodging. Recreation. Neighborly Vibes.

Our neck of the woods has everything you need for an adventurous road trip, casual weekend getaway, or a #treatyoself day.

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