The small village of Hobart in New York’s Catskill mountains has been drawing bibliophiles from near and far with its delightful claim to fame: no less than six independent bookstores, all within walking distance of each other.
Since it was settled in the 1780s, Hobart had been a small farming village with local agriculture providing most jobs in the area. But over time these dwindled, and by the early 2000s, most buildings on Main Street were vacant. A local entrepreneur, Don Dales, decided to buy up the empty buildings and lease them to aspiring booksellers.
At the moment there are six independent bookstores along Hobart’s Main Street. The first is Adams’ Antiquarian Bookstore, which specializes in antique pieces of literature, but has a wide variety of other genres throughout the shop’s three floors. In addition to the impressive collection of leather-bound volumes, you can have a chat with the good Dr. Adams or try one of Mrs. Adams’ gingersnap cookies.
Across the street, you’ll find Creative Corner Books and New York Books and Ephemera. Creative Corner Books is the perfect shop for any DIY-er. Whether you are looking for a 1930s cookbook or a home improvement guide, you’ll probably find it here.
New York Books and Ephemera is a newer addition to the village, opening in 2020. Here you’ll find books on various topics relating to New York, both city and state. Additionally there are dozens of varieties of printed items such as magazine printings and posters for sale.
Down the road a little ways lies the Hobart Inn, first built in 1785 and now home to not one but two bookshops: the Book Nook and More Good Books. The Book Nook functions as a free lending library for children of all ages, and has a wide variety of books to choose from. More Good Books began as a collaborative overflow shop by several of the village’s book vendors, but has grown into one of the most popular shops in the village with a wide variety of well-priced books on multiple topics.
Farther down the road you’ll find Liberty Rock Books. This is definitely the most well-organized shop in the village and has a wide variety of books ranging from 19th-century poetry collections to 1960s psychology papers. In the back of the building, you’ll find a reading area with good views of the east branch of the Delaware River.
Past Liberty Rock and adjoined with the post office is Blenheim Hill Books. Visitors will usually receive an enthusiastic greeting from the shop’s dog, Greta. Inside you’ll find a sizable collection of books on a variety of topics, with excellent selections of vintage children’s books and women’s studies books.
Know Before You Go
Due to a recent water leak, Blenheim Hill Books has been temporarily relocated to the Hobart Inn building, in the same space as the Book Nook and More Good Books.
The bookshops are all open on most weekends and holiday Mondays from 11 am- 5 pm. Parking can usually be found on Main Street, but if it is limited there is almost definitely parking by the fire hall down Cornell Ave.