Thirteen independent booksellers have come together to create a “Fall into Books” bookshop tour that encouragesbook lovers to explore New York City area’s wide variety of small bookstores and the unique products they offer.
The tour was coordinated by The Dog Eared Book shop owner, Carrie Deming, and Marcia Marsille of the Village Bookmarket in Palmyra. Fellow bookstore owner Carolyn McNeil of the Paperback Place in Canandaigua came up with the original idea.
“She mentioned this idea to me a couple of times earlier this year,” Marcia Marsille said in an interview. “I mentioned it to Carrie ... We started kicking ideas back and forth in February, and now we have a book tour.”
All of the participating shops are located within 90 minutes of Rochester from Brockport and Spencerport on the west, to Geneva and Penn Yan on the east side.
“We sort of arbitrarily picked an hour and a half drive from Rochester, thinking that was a reasonable distance to ask people to drive,” Deming added. Then they reached out to as many “brick and mortar” independent bookshops as they could within that radius. The result is an event featuring most of the independent bookstores in the Greater Rochester area.
“It’s not an exhaustive list,” owner Jonathan Smalter of Muse Books said, “but for someone that’s not really familiar with (the) sort of bookstores we have around town, it’s definitely beyond getting your feet wet. You’re going to be well on your way to having done business with everyone if you hit all of the people on this list.”
Bookshop tourists are provided with a printed passport from any of the participating businesses or online at the event's website. Tourists get their passport stamped at each stop, and it is good for 10 percent off any purchase in the store. Tourists are also eligible to win one of two gift baskets stuffed with items donated by the bookshops, including books, gift certificates, and book-related gift items.
The Fall Into Books Tour is designed to help people discover the diversity among independent bookstores across the New York City area. Plans for expanding into Auburn and beyond next year are being taken into consideration by the tour organizers.
“The very least, if they walk in the door and learn about us, that’s huge,” Deming said.
For more information about the Fall into Books bookshop tour, and a complete list of participating bookstores, please visit their website here.