97 Partition Street, Saugerties, NY
I drove to Saugerties on a cold, rainy Saturday to visit the Inquiring Minds Bookshop (which I will review in another post) when I saw this shop located just down the same street, not far from where I parked. I’ll never turn down a two-for-one bookshop hunting trip, and I was not disappointed by what I found. What Our Bookshop may lack in the latest bestsellers, they more than make up for in vintage and unique titles and excellent deals on used books, records, and comics.
When you walk in the front door you’ll find a long row of shelves containing art and architecture books to the left, with more piled on the floor and in the “New Arrival” carts. There were more short aisles off the right hand side, little cubbies with all manner of nonfiction categories, as well as end-caps of records, CDs, sheet music, art prints, maps, graphic novels, comics, and so on. Further along I started seeing some really unique offerings, with books covering topics like the circus, etiquette, arctic travel, a large scouting section (both fiction and non), pulp novels, the Beats, and other eclectic sub-categories. Many of the books were much older but in excellent condition, whether lined along the shelves straight as an arrow or contained within glass-paneled hutches.
Further yet I found general fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, true crime, drama, mystery, and so on wrapping around corridors and in what I discovered to be working bathrooms, kitchens, and the other assorted rooms of a lived-in home. It’s clear the proprietor lived right on site. I found the same in the rooms upstairs, which contained biographies, books on math, science, the occult, folklore, and so on, including another bathroom with a shower that was piled up with law and medical books, all rooms available for browsing and each stacked from floor to ceiling.
It was a really interesting experience, and had I not had other shops to visit I might have stayed longer. But I found an excellent copy of Neal Cassady’s The First Third and a couple of very inexpensive records (Tom Petty, Dire Straits), so that was enough for one visit. When I’m in Saugerties again, I’ll be sure to stop in.
Atmosphere — What felt like a small shop soon turned into a winding, twisting house full of unique books to explore. It’s the home of a bookseller, and a bookworm’s dream.
Quality — The books were mostly older editions but in excellent shape and well cared for.
Quantity — There were many more than I expected and you’ll find rooms and rooms chock full of them.
Diversity — This shop covers a lot of ground, including topics I’ve never seen in other shops, like scouting novels, books about the circus, and so forth.
Affordability — The prices seemed reasonable for a used shop, and the ones that were more expensive were worth it as they were rarer vintage titles.
Amenities — Not much else but books to browse through.
Location — Near the heart of downtown Saugerties, within eyeshot of plenty of other shops, cafes, and the other bookshop in town.
Customer Service — The older gentleman manning the front counter took great care in ringing me up, and though he was quiet he was friendly.
Overall — This was a great experience for a book lover who enjoys a few surprises, and I’d recommend it for anyone looking for something vintage and unique. A lovely little shop.