Giving the Gift & Shopping Local 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 are 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 their only paper, year-round.
The store was narrow, but deep, and they later expanded when the restaurant next door closed. Instead of 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, worldly and empowering; I felt wiser, just browsing through.
That love and respect of the printed word has stayed with me my entire life; I even inventory classic and quality titles from library book sales to add warmth and personality 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. Stop in, get to know them, and be reminded of 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 Since 1946, this shop has been anchored in the heart of Larchmont Village, 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. Have not been, but that will be remedied shortly, just love the 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.
Galapagos Books Again, a great name in front of a great business: 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!