Hobart Book Village
“Why on Earth are there so many book stores in one little town?” is not an uncommon question for visitors who stumble upon the somewhat sleepy, but equally adorable, town of Hobart, also known as the Book Village.
Located between Bloomville and Stamford, Hobart is a hidden gem of a destination; a sweet small town complete with friendly faces, delightful shops, galleries, places to wander the natural world and great food and drink options. Even with all this and more, it is most identified by being the place that boasts to be the home of several truly special collections of books and those who love to sell them. It was also named to Fodor’s Go List for 2022, an annual list spotlighting the best places to travel.
Inspired by the Book Village of Hay-On Wye in Wales, Don Dales welcomed fellow entrepreneurs to come to Hobart and open stores in his empty buildings, thus beginning the dream of creating a literature lover’s enclave in the Catskills. There are currently five independent shops that work collectively to beget this bookish vision and even host a highly regarded and extremely popular Festival of Women Writers, which takes place every September.
It’s not just a town of book stores, it’s a cultural hot spot and community gathering ground, offering up several arts shows, book signings, author readings and lectures throughout the year.
The largest of the five stores in square footage is Liberty Rock Books (678 Main Street, Hobart, 607.538.1760), owned and operated by John and Jim Mahoney and Tom Liotta. One can get lost in the deep shelves that house up to some 50,000 books. In addition to their fantastic selection of titles ranging from history to children to popular culture, Liberty Rock Books also offers vintage postcards and well-maintained, reasonably priced Jazz records and CD’s.
Wm. H. Adams’ Antiquarian Bookshop (602 Main Street, Hobart, 607.538.9080) features three floors of books. Not all of the books are antiquarian. However, many of the books in the shop were printed prior to 1850, or are about events that occurred prior to 1850. The shop carries books in a wide range of categories including, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Art, Architecture, Religion, Judaica, Biography, Poetry and Literature with rare and signed editions on hand. They also carry books reflecting local interests, including history, horticulture and wildlife.
Blenheim Hill Books (698 Main Street, Suite A, Hobart, 607.538.9222) Owners Barbara Balliet and Cheryl Clarke carefully curate thousands of titles at reasonable prices ranging from mysteries and suspense, women’s studies, poetry and the children’s book section is always a big draw.
For crafty and artistic types is Creative Corner Books (607 Main Street, Hobart, 607.386.2525) which was opened by Kathy and George Duyer in 2016. The store has a clear DIY spirit, offering a wide selection of new, used and vintage cookbooks, craft books and other do-it-yourself selections as well as a bevy of gift items. Creative Corner also offers a variety of demonstrations and workshops, free sewing classes for kids and much more.
Art, art, and more art is what you’ll find at LionEyesBooks (722 Main Street, Hobart, 631.926.1757) where sharing affordable finds with you is the passion of owner Randi Sussman-Kim. When you browse the shelves you’ll come upon well-known, lesser known, and “why-aren’t-they-known?” artists who thrill Randi to her core. The inventory is arranged and priced according to her attachment to the art/artist/text.
More Good Books (645 Main Street, Hobart) is a bookshop that offers a selection of books focused on the subjects of Railroads, Ships & Boats, Automobiles, Games/Sports, Hobbies and Pets. You will find us in the middle space of a multi-vendor location on the north side of the Historic Hobart Inn.
Also located in the Inn, Quarry Books (645 Main Street, Hobart) is a bookshop that offers a selection of Mysteries and Science Fiction. Formerly known as “Mysteries & More”, Book Village founder, Don Dales, has returned to the fold in a new location which is the oldest foundation in Hobart.
As the name suggests, New York Books & Ephemera (615 Main Street, Hobart) specializes in books and ephemera about New York State. This includes history, geography, travel, bios, memoir, food, architecture, arts and nature, as well as fiction set in NY or written by NY authors. Owners Kathy and George Duyer also stock local farm products and locally hand-crafted items in their shop.
Wondering when the best time to come to Hobart is? Well, it’s anytime, but consider planning your trip around their two massive semi-annual town-wide sales days. Visit Hobart during Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends to stock up on all your book, music and ephemera needs.
For more on Hobart Book Village and all the businesses and attractions in the area, visit the official site of the village at hobartbookvillage.com or greatwesterncatskills.com.
Hobart is known for its books but it’s also got a whole lot more. Here are a few of the non-book related places you don’t want to miss!
The Dinner Plate
545 Main Street, Hobart
The Bull & Garland
760 Main Street, Hobart
The Coffee Pot
581 Main Street, Hobart
Mural on Main
631 Main Street, Hobart
Second Wind Furniture and Antiques
284 Main Street, Hobart
The Sheep’s Nest
45 Main Street, Hobart
Cellar Door Wines & Spirits
575 Main Street, Hobart