New York's Catskills is truly a unique destination for more reasons than one. Not only is it home to the abandoned Borsch Belt resorts, but it's also scenic in all of its mountainside beauty. It's often overlooked compared to its mountain neighbor to the north, the Adirondacks, but there's one town, in particular, that has gained quite a reputation.

It might come as a surprise to know that book lovers should be adding the Catskills to their bucket list, and that's thanks to one town: Hobart. This (very) small village is home to more bookstores than any other type of store in town, and that was done so intentionally. It's a unique corner of the Catskill Mountains and is one that's worth spending a day - or a weekend - exploring.

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The Bibliophile History Of Hobart

Appropriately named the Hobart Book Village, this town is home to more than just bookstores - but not by much. According to the village website, the idea for a book village - literally a town devoted entirely to books - began in Wales back in 1961. Since then, the idea has caught on and while not many exist, Hobart is one of these such towns. The first known book village in Wales came to life after a man by the name of Richard Booth, who was an entrepreneur at the time, bought a few buildings in town with the intention of turning them into bookstores. The idea came to fruition and today, there are about 25 independent bookstores that cater to the needs of book lovers everywhere. Each bookstore sells used and antiquarian books, along with other unique works.

In Hobart, a man by the name of Don Dales did the same thing on a smaller scale, with a total of about seven independent bookstores which is quite a lot in such a tiny village community. Being a local entrepreneur, Dales created an atmosphere that's nothing short of a dream for avid readers. In addition, there are other bookstores that reside within a 50-mile radius of Hobart, which makes the Catskills, as a whole, a prime destination for those who appreciate literature.

Hobart's Events

With the town's reputation for the literary arts, it's not surprising that there are several major events that are held in the community. Some of these include:

  • Festival of Woman Writers
  • Winter Respite Lecture Series
  • Art shows, author readings, and signings
  • Annual book sales on major holidays such as Memorial Day and Thanksgiving

The events that are thrown by the town bring in crowds of people, especially antique book collectors who are on the hunt for that perfect edition. The great thing about the Hobart Book Village is that one never knows what they might find in any number of its bookstores, making it an adventure each time. It's estimated that hundreds of people come to the town during their biggest sale days, so it's best to plan ahead if Hobart is on the list of must-visit destinations.

Visiting Hobart

While the main reason that many people visit is for the books, there's plenty to see in this small town when one is done perusing the shelves, as well. To start, here are the bookstores that visitors can expect to explore:

  • Adams' Antiquarian Books
  • Blenheim Hill Books
  • Creative Corner Books
  • Liberty Rock Books, LLC.
  • LionEyesBooks
  • More Good Books
  • Books & Ephemera
  • Quarry Books

The hours of these bookstores are from 11 AM - 5 PM, with hours varying on holidays.

Additional Things To Do In Hobart

  • Second Wind Furniture: A shop specializing in refurbishing, refinishing, upcycling, and reselling antique furniture and items. A one-of-a-kind, find-anything type of shop!
  • The Sheep's Nest: Cozy items for the home, specializing in country French, vintage industrial, and English cottage styles.
  • MURAL: Standing for 'Mt. Utsayantha Regional Arts League,' this gallery and gift shop specializes in showcases local artwork and can be found in the heart of Hobart.
  • Hatherleigh Press: A publication specializing in content about healthy living and lifestyles.
  • Catskill Scenic Rail Trail: Open to visitors for horseback riding, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, covering a distance of 26 miles in total through the heart of Hobart.
  • Country Pride Cheese House: Shop specializing in all things gourmet cheese and spreads - be sure to go in with an empty stomach!
  • The Hobart Historical Society: Explore Hobart's intriguing past and learn how it became a 'book village.'
  • Hobart Community Farmer's Market: Running from June through September, this local outdoor market includes local offerings such as produce, baked goods, meats, and beverages. Visitors will also find artisan crafts and artwork, as well as activities for kids and families. Readings, live music, and movies after dark are also included on some dates.

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