Aged Pages: A Trip to a Book Village

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Today marks the return of my series, Aged Pages.  It’s been over a year since the last post…and more than a year before that one that there was anything new. After the adventure I had this weekend with my girlfriend, it only seems fitting to revive Aged Pages and share our trip.

As we all know, I LOVE used bookstores. The thing with them is that there aren’t many around. At least, they’re not as common as we may want them to be. I know many of my fellow readers don’t have one anywhere near them. This is why I should never complain about the fact that I have three within a half-hour of my house. After a discovery I made on Friday, that “three” increased dramatically.

Through trying to find information on one of the stores I found last year, I stumbled upon the Hobart Book Village. My first reaction was “Oh, that’s cool. Maybe I’ll get there some day.” I’d only heard of the town before, but didn’t know really where it was on the map. A few clicks later, I found much to my surprised that it was only about 15 miles from my house. I’d never gone that far in that direction. It’s to the south, in the next county. Also much to my surprised, my girlfriend showed up for a visit on Friday night. When I told her about this book village and how close it was, we decided to take the trip on Saturday.

Now that you have the story, how about I tell you about what this book village is. It’s a new concept to me and it’d be great to see more of them pop up for booklovers everywhere.

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This book village is made up of six bookstores (selling new, used, and antiquarian books) all on the same street in this small village of Hobart, NY. Each store has its own specialty and there is definitely something for everyone to be found. If you’re into very old, and rare books? There’s a store for that. Want to fill that gaps in your favorite mystery series? There’s a store for that. Want a wide range of newer and used books? There’s a store for that, too. There’s even room for readings in that larger store. There’s even a store with books from all over the world and in many different languages. Instead of listing out every store and what it has, you can find more on them by clicking the names here:

Now that you know more about the shops, you may want to know how the experience was, right? Well, it was definitely a new experience in the world of bookstores and one I’ll be doing again later this year (it’s the off-season now, and I want to see how it is during the summer months for sure).

I wasn’t sure exactly how these stores would be able to all thrive and be so close together, but the first store we walked into answered my questions. We were greeted by one of the owners and given a quick overview of the store. After checking out, the other owner talked to use for a few minutes and gave a brief tour of the other shops. He pointed them out through the window and told use what each had inside. So, the specialties seem to help avoid full-blown competition for customers. There’s only the sense that “village” is the best word to use. It’s literally a community of bookstores. You’d never see that is a Borders and B&N (years ago, I feel old now) were even within a few miles of each other on the map. This is just another charm of used and independent bookstores.

Before I get to showing you a surprise, I’ll answer that question that’s probably about to burst out of your mouths: No, I didn’t get anything from the trip. I grabbed a few books (check my Instagram) earlier in the day, and I’m trying to be more conservative with my spending right now. But my girlfriend walked away with a nice stack of books. She’s still trying to catch up to my over 2300 book collection. She found some good ones too.

Now for the surprise: CATS in bookstores! (Pictures taken by Jackie Vazquez, aka my girlfriend. I was too busy looking at books and didn’t think to take pictures of the stores like I’d planned.)

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One of two cats from Little Rock Books. If I remember correctly, this one is named Libby. The other is Caddy (Caddie?), but I guess we didn’t get a picture of that kitty.

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This is Big Red, from Mysteries & More. This kitty did a good impression of my dog by plopping down in front of me so I could rub a kitty belly.

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This was also from Mysteries & More. It’s not a kitty, but it’s a cool ship on a piano. I wonder if it’s there to deter Big Red from stepping all over the keys and disturbing the quiet of the bookstore.

Before you take off, just another quick thing. Along with being a book village, it seems to be a great place for culture in general. I grabbed a brochure from last September. It’s for a Festival of Women Writers. I hope this is an annual thing. Looks like a lot of fun and for thinking there wasn’t much book-related things in my area, it’s a pleasant surprise. I also grabbed a flyer that lists out all the Independent bookstores in and around this part of New York. It’s a two-sided flyer. There are more stores than I thought there were. I’m already finding them on the map and will visit as soon as I can.

If you’d like to try finding Independent/Used bookstores in your area, try to search them on Indie Bound. That’s where I found this book village. It doesn’t have all the stores that I know of in my area listed, but there is a good amount. Maybe you’ll discover a local one that you didn’t know about. Can’t hurt to try.

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