Reality star at Sparta Books

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  • Chris Manzo, Naya Busch and Caroline Manzo at Sparta Books.

  • Eva Romei a fan gets a signed copy of reality TV star Chris Manzo's new book at Sparta Books.

  • Local shoppers stop in to Sparta Books to meet Chris and Caroline Manzo of Bravo's Manzo'd With Children.


— In celebration of Independent Bookstore Day on April 30, Sparta Books hosted reality TV star Christopher Manzo who debuted his recently released “Oliver Brightside: You Don’t Want That Penny.”

Audiences may know the New Jersey native from Bravo’s “Manzo’d With Children,” now going into its third season. Manzo’s mother Caroline, who also stars in the show and is formerly one of the Housewives of New Jersey, accompanied her son.

Parlaying his popularity from television to writing, Manzo, age 27, said he wanted to try something more creative.

“I enjoy working in creative things. I always like to write,” Manzo said. “I was a terrible student, but loved to learn.”

Interested in people’s stories and how things operate, Manzo considers himself more of a behind-the-scenes explorer.

“When I got older I got into books-I liked to teach myself things,” he said. “I am always thinking about the story behind it. Writing gives me an opportunity to use my imagination.”

“Oliver Brightside: You Don’t Want That Penny, ” is Manzo’s first book geared towards children 3 to 6 years old. The story centers on a little boy who finds a penny and doesn’t know how to spend it.

“Oliver is trying to prove that a penny is worth something,” Manzo said. “I always enjoy making insignificant things significant.

Eva Romei of Lake Hopatcong is a fan of the show and picked up a signed copy of the book.

“I came out to meet Chris, because I follow him on TV,” she said.

Caroline Manzo remarked proudly about her son’s infinite curiosity: “He was always so inquisitive. As a child he wanted to know how things worked –Chris has a great imagination.”

Mother and daughter Annette and Naya Busch came from Rockaway Borough to visit Sparta Books.

“We just took a Saturday drive and happened to walk into the store. It is so nice to have a local bookstore,” Annette Busch said.

Sparta Books is one of about 400 bookstores in the United States that operate independently. The store is located at 29 Theatre Center, www.spartabooks

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