Rodgers Book Barn - A Mesmerizing Rabbit Hole in Wonderland for Book Lovers to Discover

Monday, May 2, 2022

 "One does not stop buying books just because there is no shelf space."

Anyone who loves books knows that statement to be true, including the proprietors of the very best bookshops, including our latest discovery, Rodgers Book Barn, in Hillsdale NY.

I recently happened upon a post on Facebook picturing the inside of this wonderland of literary treasures and immediately added it to our spring itinerary.  A couple weekends ago, the weather was perfect for a road trip and my chauffeur was happy to oblige.  Hillsdale is a new place for us, just 70 minutes from Clifton Park down the Taconic Parkway, in Columbia County near Hudson and Great Barrington MA.  Typically I don't chase destinations, as it's the journey that I enjoy, but in this case both the journey and the destination were well worth the time and the gas.

Maureen Rodgers opened the Book Barn in 1972 and is in her 50th year of business.  She was a 29 year old bookseller when she came to Hillsdale from NYC, having started her book career selling books to colleges.  Maureen figured out that colleges don't buy books in the summer so to make ends meet year 'round, she apprenticed in the antiquarian department of Barnes and Noble on 17th Street.  After vacationing in Hillsdale she and her husband decided they wanted to move there permanently and purchased the five acre-parcel, a barn and a house for $8,000.  There's so much more to this part of the story and I encourage you to use this link to read Chris Atkins and Laura Lettelier's story about Maureen and the Book Barn on the blog, Historians of Hillsdale, NY A Visit with Maureen Rodgers.   It's a fabulous read!

Like the Owl Pen Books in Greenwich that I blogged about last year, Rodgers Book Barn is a little like Alice's rabbit hole in wonderland, filled to the brim (on two floors) with neatly shelved and organized books of every genre imaginable.....used books and cd's.  From the outside, no one could guess that behind the modest exterior awaits over 50,000 old and unusual books, most for just a few bucks.  We left with 3 for the bargain price of $9.00.  

As you're driving to Rodgers Book Barn, once you've left the highway portion of the trip, a series of back roads through gorgeous horse and farm country, leaves you wondering how (and why) anyone would choose to open a book store in the middle of nowhere.  Yet, just like Owl Pen, when we finally reached our GPS destination, we found we were not the only book enthusiasts to have made the trip that day.  Several other shoppers were deep in exploration of all the titles available.  For some, it may be a little overwhelming, but not to worry, Maureen has a large number of chairs of all styles and sizes tucked in every nook and cranny just begging for shoppers to sit, relax and flip some pages.

In case you prefer enjoying your book in the fresh air, some tables and chairs are scattered throughout the country property, that day among the hundreds of daffodils in full bloom.

Not surprisingly, a bookstore of this sort would have to be run by someone who is a)passionate about books, b) knowledgeable and c) loves helping people.  When I was boasting about the magnificent barns and landscapes we enjoyed on our drive, she took out a brochure of the Hudson Valley Book Trail and spent several minutes directing us to another bookstore on the trail, one that she thought we'd like that also would take us through some beautiful countryside with great barns.  Talk about hospitality!

Rodgers Book Barn is open year round, weekends and by appointment.  Check the website for particulars.  If you love books, I highly recommend a trip to Hillsdale NY to this half century old treasure!

For more information, check out their website:
and on Instagram at @rodgersbookbarn
Be sure to also check out the Owl Pen Bookstore under new ownership, celebrating their opening weekend this past weekend.  To read my blogpost:
Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  I hope you'll check out these great businesses and take in the beautiful sights of our rural landscape in NYS.  For more posts like this one, check out my blog  Directory

No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Life As I See It Header

Never Miss A Post - Follow by Email

Sign up here to get the latest blog post delivered to your inbox.
Never miss a post again!