35 N. Front Street, Kingston, NY
I stopped into this curious little shop at the end of a long day of browsing, and even though I was getting tired after trekking through the rain and wind, this shop still surprised me with their eclectic selection and the deep cuts they had hidden within. And the books were organized in interesting ways too, like the excellent cultural- and science-focused section called “smart, but not exhausting.” Half Moon Books really make good use of their space and there’s a lot more happening inside than you may expect at first glance. They have a thrift shop too, so if you go I assure you that you’ll be in for a pretty diverse mix of topics and editions.
Outside they had a little cart of select discounted titles, and just inside there were gift sets, art and music books, and shelves of comics and graphic novels, and there were more books stacked in boxes waiting to be shelved, so many that I had to maneuver around them and the long lines of people waiting to check out and who were milling around the front counter. It was pretty packed inside, and as I moved further back and continued to discover more diverse topics and genres, I realized why. There were spinning displays of older paperbacks covering a range of social and political issues. I found one of the largest selections of those classic Little Golden Books that I’ve ever seen, set among shelves of other children’s books and YA novels. There were shelves for women’s studies, “new horizons,” language and travel, essays and letters, art prints and maps, and plenty more.
There were a couple other rooms in the back, each jam packed with more books, moving into fiction categories, sci-fi, fantasy, general/literary, mystery, and a nice poetry section with some first editions. I found a mix of new and old, gently worn and like new, bestseller and fringe author, the kind of shop where you can browse for hours if you have the time and stamina, never really knowing what you’ll stumble upon.
I really was impressed by this shop and I could have stayed for twice as long as I did, but as I said I was at the end of my day and my eyes were worn, my legs weary, and I had many a mile to travel, but being so close to the highway, I knew this Kingston bookshop would be in my not-too-distant future plans. And do know that this shop sells their stock online too, but if you want the experience first hand, their diverse range makes them a worthy stop in any bookhunting venture. Be sure to check them out either way!
Atmosphere — A busy and bright used bookshop with a focus on variety and affordability.
Quality — The used books were all in good shape, even the older editions and paperbacks.
Quantity — There were a lot of books here and you’ll be putting in worthwhile time to sift through it all.
Diversity — An excellent variety of topics and genres, and they’re arranged in clever ways here and there.
Affordability — You’ll find good deals here, as they’ll all used and reasonably priced.
Amenities — It’s just the books here, but they also have a thrift shop (I’m told) that I didn’t explore this time.
Location — Right on one of the main shopping streets in downtown Kingston, not far from other shops and the highway.
Customer Service — The staff seemed pretty busy with all the customers but appeared friendly and quick.
Overall — This shop deserved more of my time and I aim to go back because I can tell there are plenty of good deals and eclectic titles to dig out and bring home. Half Moon Bookshop definitely has a lot to offer any used book hunter.