Even as an adult, there’s something about back-to-school season that still makes us want to go shopping for a couple of fresh notebooks, a stack of new pencils and pens, and a good book. If you’ve got that same fall feeling, you’re in luck, because we’ve got a list of four sweet small town bookstores (and barns!) to peruse and believe you me, you’ll leave this road trip with a stack of books that’ll last you ’til spring (and a most wonderful experience to boot!).
Owl Pen Books | GREENWICH
We just discovered Owl Pen this year, and I can’t believe we didn’t know about it sooner because it’s right up our alley. Down a winding dirt road, you’ll find a complex of red barns tucked behind a historic white home. The barns are the bookstore. It doesn’t get more charming! Inside, you’ll find over 100,000 pre-owned books, and the co-owner Edie, who, upon a customer request for a specific book, pulled it from the shelves within 30 seconds. (She assured us it’s not always that fast!). You could easily spend the afternoon here, slowly making your way through the shelves. A new favorite for sure.
Battenkill Books | Cambridge
Battenkill Books is the kind of bookstore that I wish we had in downtown Glens Falls, but am also glad we don’t, since it gives us an excuse to cruise out to the lovely village of Cambridge. Here you’ll find the friendliest staff, the newest releases, and a most adorable room filled with books for the kiddos. It’s bright, airy, and the kind of place that makes you want to grab a seat by the window and start your book right away. A major bonus - Round House Bakery Cafe is a few doors down, Argyle Brewing Company’s tasting room is at the old train station right around the corner, and there are fantastic antique shops up and down the street. Do yourself a favor and pick up your next book here instead of online - you won’t regret it!
Wilson Homestead | HEBRON
Washington County roads are some of the prettiest in the area, and we enjoyed the most gorgeous ride past old farmhouses and red barns to get to the Wilson Homestead. Book barns are indeed a new favorite of ours, and this historic property is no exception. Inside, there’s a little bit of everything - books ranging from cooking to architecture and design, to local and regional history - our favorite! There’s also a great selection of antiques, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that we won’t get out of there without buying something. When you’re done, head over to Gardenworks for lunch at the Cheese + Cafe - a pretty perfect afternoon if you ask us!
Old Book Surfer | CAMBRIDGE
Overlooking Lake Lauderdale in Cambridge, The Old Book Surfer was unique in that there was a great selection of old books and vinyl records (for that record player I keep saying we need to buy!). We loved flipping through the bins and reminiscing about the tunes our parents listened to when we were kids, and we can’t wait to go back when we finally do get that turntable. You’re sure to walk away with an armful of treasures, and a heaping dose of nostalgia, too!