Our bookish travels recently led us to Albany, the capital city of New York State. Located on the Hudson River, Albany is home to some lovely historic and unusual modern architecture, plus seven colleges and universities (sixteen in the greater Albany area), including the State University of New York at Albany. During our stay there we visited three area book shops.
Our first book shop visit was to Good Buy Books, owned by Lynne and Vinny Catelotti and located at 330 Columbia Turnpike in Rensselaer, NY. Rensselaer is located on the Hudson River directly opposite Albany.
Just outside this store there were tables of books under a tent and on the front porch at deeply discounted prices. I found one or two under the tent to take with us, and a few more inside the shop.
The books here are well organized, clean and there was a surprising variety of inventory—from nearly new to some old and collectible. There is plenty of free parking in front of the store.
Our second book shop stop was at Dove & Hudson, located at 296 Hudson Avenue, a quiet tree-lined street in Albany, NY.
Owned by Dan Wedge, this book shop has a strong local following and we can see why – it is well stocked with scholarly titles at reasonable prices and in nice clean condition. We found quite a few Modern Library titles here. There were excellent sections on history (including local/regional history), biography, philosophy, religion, and a large section for “belles-lettres.” This is a book shop any discerning reader would love.
Dan has been the proprietor of Dove & Hudson for over twenty years. He is full of character, knowledgeable and interesting to talk with about books. We enjoyed our stop here very much. There is free on-street parking and we had no difficulty finding a spot.
The last book shop we were able to squeeze into our trip was the Book Barn, located not in a barn, but in a small plaza at 200 Troy-Schenectady Road (Route 2) in Latham, NY.
Owned by Daniel and Cheryl Driggs, this store has a large inventory of mostly newer titles, with well-labeled sections for easy browsing in all genres, including a huge children’s section. Dan, who was in the store on the day of our visit, was friendly and helpful. We were able to find several collectible old books here, including a few decorated bindings and an old mystery. There is free parking in front of the store.
Albany is a great jump-off point from which to visit beautiful Saratoga Springs, or to explore the Adirondacks mountains, both just to the North of this city; or head south down the historic and picturesque Hudson River Valley.