Giving the Gift is a series that showcases and celebrates the year-round presence of Westchester County small businesses. Usually hiding in plain sight on Main Street, they're current and responsive, well-staffed with knowledgeable people who are happy to be there, and usually quite inspiring if you are in need of direction for a thoughtful gift.
Long before the mega-mega book stores, the internet and online book sellers, and of course the e-readers were independant book stores.
If you lived in the Ossining-Briarcliff area of Westchester County in the 70s and 80s, that meant Books and Things, in the Chilmark Shopping Center. We lived within view, and my brother John worked there P/T while in school. Can still see their wrapping paper: alternating shapes of fruit-I want to say pears and apples?-simple, but not primitive-set perpendicular to each other, printed on brown, craft-style paper. It was iconic, their only paper, year-round.
The store was narrow, but deep, and they later expanded when the restaurant next door closed. Like most independent book stores, they didn't carry 100 copies of 5 titles, they would carry 5-okay, maybe 10 copies of 100 different titles. There were books all over the place-not an inch of space was wasted. It was warm, welcoming, and empowering; I felt wiser and more worldly, just browsing through.
That love and respect of the printed word has stayed with me my entire life. Hoping for osmosis, there are piles of books on my night table, and I inventory classic and quality titles purchased from library book sales to add character to houses I Stage. So it is with great affection I present this chapter of Giving the Gift.
Collectively, these seven businesses have opened their doors for a total of 240 years. They are community. Most carry-and host!- local authors for intimate events like readings and signings, and include cards, and unique gifts for the literary-minded. Stop in, get to know them, and be reminded what service and selection is all about.
Village Bookstore Pleasantville residents and shop owners Yvonne von Cort and Roy Solomon have made this vibrant and thriving store a cornerstone of the village's business district. Readings and book signings by local authors is one of their mainstays, two of my clients have been featured there! Just go, you'll see.
Aleph-Bet Books Not a retail store, husband and wife Helen and Marc Younger's home is part gallery, housing 9000+ titles of rare and collectible childrens and illustrated books. They offer quick online searches, quarterly catalogs online and by subscription. Most recent catalog included 1858 copy of Clement Moore's Twas the Night Before Christmas. By appointment.
Anderson's Book Shop A classic neighborhood fixture, this shop has been anchored in the heart of Larchmont Village since 1946...kind of tells you most of what you need to know right there.
Bruised Apple Books Research turned up this Peekskill gem. New and pre-loved, books and music-including vinyl! Have not been, but that will be remedied shortly, just love the funky look of this place, and yes, I will have to find out about the name, too.
The Voracious Reader Since 2003, this Larchmont shop is all about childrens' books: from infant to teen, they passionately support and encourage curiousity about, and love for the printed word.
Womrath Book Store On Pondfield Road in Bronxville, I love this store! It feels very much like my beloved Books and Things. Bright, full and orderly-all you could want in a book store!
Galapagos Books Again, a great name with a great story: Like the turtles, readers spend a lot of time between hard shells (book covers). Featuring many signed editions for that really, really special gift Again, just go!
When you shop local on Small Business Saturday you make a statement; when you shop local year round, you make a difference!
NEXT Giving the Gift: Try Something New!
Marie Graham is an Interior Decorator, an Accredited Home Stager, and owner of The Refreshed Home. Bringing a thoughtful approach to a creative process, and supporting all our environments.