BY Christine Weimer
I get it, there are only so many ways you can organize your pantries, and your Netflix selections are getting slimmer by the day. Distractions to pass time and to unwind the mind from the current state we’re all in has had us all getting a bit more creative than we ever expected to. But have you tried curling up to a good book yet? How about supporting the small business during these uncertain times?
If you’re an avid reader like me, that summer reading list has already gotten a decent dent put in it. However, I recently got an itch to try some new genres (there is only just so much romance I can handle at a time), and upon my search, it dawned on me just how many small business independent bookstores were working overtime to keep serving their communities while we are all enduring the stay-at-home order.
So, I’ve compiled a list of book shops in and around the Hudson Valley that are doing their best to help us fulfill our literary needs and more. Shopping local is more important now than ever, especially for the shops that thrive on sharing this type of product with their communities.
Check the list to see if there’s a shop open in your area and consider buying with them over big industry companies. They appreciate you. Plus, if you do not see one in your area, consider ordering with them online or via phone for shipping anyway. All shops will be happy to accommodate you in any way they can.
Rodgers Book Barn- Columbia County
About Rodgers Book Barn: Opened by Maureen Rodgers in 1972, it is one of the longest-running bookshops in the Hudson Valley. Situated among farms and fields in Hillsdale, NY, the Book Barn offers 50,000 titles with an emphasis on literary fiction, poetry, art, world history and biography, as well as a children's section. E.L. Doctorow, Susan Sontag and John Ashbery are among the literary icons who sought out and treasured the Book Barn.
Books are currently for sale via curbside pickup or local delivery. Please call, email or contact them through their Instagram account. They are fulfilling mail order "book care packages" which can be shipped inside the U.S.
Address: 467 Rodman Road, Hillsdale, New York 12529
Store Hours: 12pm-3pm daily
Inquiring Minds Bookstore- Ulster County (two locations)
About Inquiring Minds: With two locations, Saugerties and New Paltz, Inquiring Minds has been serving their community for over a decade. In Saugerties, you can find various new and used books, records and CDs, and in New Paltz you can find a wide variety of new and used books. Currently, both locations are special orders that offer free shipping within the U.S. and they also offer curbside pickup as well as local delivery within a 5-mile range. Plus, 20% off in-house inventory.
Give them a call and they will gladly do their best to navigate through their inventory and ordering process with you.
Address: 65 Partition Street, Saugerties, New York 12477
Address: 6 Church Street, New Paltz, New York 12561
Store Hours: 10am and 6pm daily
Oblong Books- Dutchess County (two locations)
About Oblong Books: Oblong Books & Music has been serving the community from Millerton, NY since October 1975. In 2001, Oblong's co-owners - the father & daughter team of Dick Hermans and Suzanna Hermans - opened a second location in Rhinebeck. Oblong is currently the largest independent bookstore serving the community in the Hudson Valley. They continue to support and serve customers with a wide selection of books, games, puzzles, toys, gifts and special occasion gift bundles available for order online.
Free shipping & contactless curbside pickup options are available at checkout.
Address: 26 Main Street, Millerton, New York, 12546
Address: 6422 Montgomery Street, 12572
Store Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-4pm
Pickwick Book Shop- Rockland County
About Pickwick Book Shop: Pickwick Bookshop first opened its doors in 1945 and has been owned and operated by Jack Dunnigan since 1975. Jack first visited the bookstore as a young boy at its original location on Main Street. After acquiring the store in 1975 at its current location on South Broadway, Jack, along with his daughter and son, Alexandra and Tristan, has been able to maintain the only lasting independent bookstore in Rockland County.
They sell a mix of new and used books and have a large, diverse children's book corner. They are offering curbside pick-up as well as free delivery, along with shipping wherever the book needs to go.
Address: 8 South Broadway, Nyack, New York 10960
The Village Bookstore- Westchester NY
About Village Bookstore: They are an independent, family-owned store featuring hand-selected books, cards, journals and gifts. You can browse over 10,000 new books every day including history, poetry, travel, cookbooks, kid’s books and more.
Currently placing e-mail and phone orders, they are open for curbside pick-up as well as offering to ship for a nominal fee along with free deliveries with a $25 purchase within a 10-mile radius of the shop. They also have complimentary gift wrapping.
Address: 10 Washington Avenue, Pleasantville, New York 10570
Store Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm
Magpie Bookshop- Greene County
About Magpie Bookshop: Magpie Bookshop is a secondhand bookstore in Catskill NY. They specialize in narrative non-fiction, modern literature and books for children and youth.
During the pandemic, they’re doing curbside pickup, local delivery and domestic shipping.
No regular hours, but folks can call to make an appointment. They’re happy to curate book bundles.
Address: 392 Main Street, Catskill, New York 12414
The Barking Goose Bookstore Bar & Café- Orange County
About The Barking Goose: They are a bookstore with a craft beer, cider and wine bar offering light fares such as chili, quesadillas, sliders, grilled cheese, quiche, salads and Italian and Greek platters. They have a varied selection of all new books including baby, children, young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction.
Due to current restrictions, they are currently serving food, beer, cider, wine and books for take-out/curbside pick-up and delivery as needed. They can also ship books as well.
Customers browse on social media posts, inquire about particular books or ask for recommendations. And they are still doing weekly Trivia on Thursdays at 7pm with Zoom, along with their monthly book club virtually as well.
Address: 16 North Plank Road, Newburgh, New York 12550
Store Hours: Weds-Sun 12pm-7pm
Merritt Bookstore- Dutchess County
About Merritt Bookstore: They offer a full selection of new releases and classics for readers of all ages, toys, games, puzzles, cards, stationery, wrapping paper, and highly curated small gifts. Custom services for gifting, personal libraries, and schools are available, as well as bespoke book subscriptions.
They are open for porch-pick up and shipping of online orders, facetime shopping, phone orders, orders placed from the front door, and through email. You can see what they have on their website, on Intagram and Facebook.
Address: 57 Front Street, Millbrook, New York 12545
Store Hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat
Scattered Books- Westchester County
About Scattered Books: They’re your friendly independent bookstore in Chappaqua, NY. Not just a bookstore catering to adults and children, they offer a variety of services such as Birthday Parties, Custom Gift Baskets, Online Shopping and BUNNIES!
Customers can e-mail or order online during this time but you can also call at any time or day to speak someone or leave a message for your requests/inquiries.
Address: 29 King Street, Chappaqua, New York 10514
Maybe these shops will spark some new reading interests for you. I have personally connected with them all and am anxious to be able to physically visit their shops one day. I hope you will do the same. And if you know of any other independent book shops that did not make the list, reach out to me! I’d love to acquaint myself with them as well.