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Get Lost in Literature at the Hudson Valley’s Independent Bookstores


Amazon may dominate the online book market nowadays, but the Hudson Valley still remains home to a thriving independent bookstore scene. For every dead Borders and half-empty Barnes & Noble, a number of new and legacy stores have more than picked up the slack. Make sure to pick up a custom bookmark – as well as a bestseller or, occasionally, a craft brew – at one of these charming local booksellers.

Bookhouse at Stuyvesant Plaza

Where: Albany

What Sets It Apart: A great selection of Capitol Region works and frequent readings at the Bookhouse and its sister store in Troy make it the best place to find out about the history of the area.

1475 Western Ave, Albany, 518.489.4761

Chatham Bookstore

Where: Chatham

What Sets It Apart: This charming, orange-awninged storefront stocks new releases and art supplies, and local artists exhibit their works on its walls.

27 Main St, Chatham, 518.392.3005

I Love Books

Where: Delmar

What Sets It Apart: This “wonderland” sells all varieties of gifts, toys, and jewelry, as well as select hardcovers.

380 Delaware Ave, Delmar, 518.478.0715

Oblong Books & Music

Where: Rhinebeck and Millerton

What Sets It Apart: The premier regional bookstore, Oblong has selections for every kind of reader, from fantasy-obsessed children to casual fans of mysteries and true crime, as well as a healthy selection of classics, indie presses, and general esoterica.

26 Main St, Millerton, 518.789.3797; 6422 Montgomery St Ste 6, Rhinebeck, 845.876.0500

Spotty Dog Books & Ale

Where: Hudson

What Sets It Apart: The area’s original bookstore-bar stocks serious literature, from its dense philosophy section to shelves full of paperbacks from New Directions, Archipelago, and Europa Editions. The backroom also sells art supplies.

440 Warren St, Hudson, 518.671.6006

Rough Draft Bar & Books

Where: Kingston

What Sets It Apart: This recent Uptown addition is a favorite local hangout, serving a rotating selection of local brews and seasonal coffees as well as photogenically-arranged cookbooks, graphic novels, and classics in a historic stone house.

82 John St, Kingston, 845.802.0027

The Golden Notebook

Where: Woodstock

What Sets It Apart: Perfectly-curated, The Golden Notebook ensures you’ll find what you’re looking for, even if it’s not what you came in for. The entire case of Penguin classics and occasional dog visits are a bonus alongside the wonderful staff, cozy setting, and Lessing-referencing name.

29 Tinker St, Woodstock, 845.679.8000


Where: Woodstock

What Sets It Apart: Even in a town like Woodstock, Mirabai is a stunningly New Age store. Inside, it sells rock crystals and incense alongside sizable selections of works on angels, spirituality, and the esoteric strands of major world religions. Come here for works by Suzuki, Armstrong, and Merton.

23 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, 845.679.2100

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Merritt Bookstore and Toystore

Where: Millbrook

What Sets It Apart: Focused on children but with something for everyone, Merritt is a local institution that stocks everything from prize-winners like Colson Whitehead to the newest YA novels. Its event calendar includes the Millbrook Literary Festival, held every May.

55-57 Front St, Millbrook, 845.677.5857

Three Arts Bookstore

Where: Poughkeepsie

What Sets It Apart: The independent store for Vassar students, its cozy confines are right across the street from campus.

3 Collegeview Ave #1, Poughkeepsie, 845.471.3640

photo courtesy of split rock books

Split Rock Books

Where: Cold Spring

What Sets It Apart: Stocking best-sellers and classics, Split Rock benefits from a knowledgeable staff and packed events schedule, with book clubs, how-tos, and readings most days of the week.

97 Main Street, Cold Spring, 845.265.2080

The Book Cove  

Where: Pawling

What Sets It Apart: An independent treasure, The Book Cove is the perfect place to find a wide selection of rare and out of print books.  If literature isn’t enough, the Cove is home to a stunning and creative selection of antiques. 

22 Charles Colman Blvd, Pawling, 845.855.9590 

Barking Goose Bookstore Bar & Café

Where: Newburgh

What Sets It Apart: The region’s newest hybrid bookstore-bar, Barking Goose opened at the beginning of May. It serves wine and craft beer as well as a light menu.

16 North Plank Rd, Newburgh, 845.674.9808

Bruised Apple Books

Where: Peekskill

What Sets It Apart: This shop has been selling both new and used books since 1993, making it one of the oldest book stores in the area. Its selection also includes used records, videos, and CDs.

932 Central Ave, Peekskill, 914.734.7000

The Montgomery Book Exchange  

Where: Montgomery

What Sets It Apart: This local exchange is more than just a grab-and-go. At Montgomery, a friendly and knowledgeable staff helps to showcase a sizable selection of used literature. Bring in your own used books and get store credit, or simply donate! 

61-A Clinton St, Montgomery, 845.764.1787 

Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe

Where: Warwick

What Sets It Apart: Not quite so olde – it opened in 2012 – the place stocks both new and rare works in a historic space.

31 Main St, Warwick, 845.544.7183

Related: A Cozy New Bookstore Bar Opens in Newburgh

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