Monday, March 28, 2011

Bohemian Book Bin

A Visit to an Off-the-Beaten-Path Book Shop: The Bohemian Book Bin

For some time, I'd wanted to check out a bookshop that someone had mentioned to me last autumn. Over the winter, during one of those quiet, grey-sky weekends, I decided to take a drive to this place--the Bohemian Book Bin, located in Lake Katrine, NY (it was previously located just south in Kingston proper). It's a curious little place, on a side road off of Route 9W. The few times I'd looked for it, I couldn't find it, until someone pointed out the very small, black-and-white sign hanging in a parking lot a distance away from the shop. The sign was at least 500 feet, if not more, from the shop itself. And one cannot actually see the shop from the main road, because it is hidden by a slight hill and rock formation. But if you drive up the side road, you'll see to your right, a little industrial garage style building, with the nice little sign hanging out front, which reads "Bohemian Book Bin."

The front of the building is curiously decorated with an old church pew, an ink-well desk from some old single room school house, and piles of books. As you can see, there was a little snow on the ground the first time I found the place. And still, the books were outside. The shop was closed, and so I had to return another time. When I did I found that the inside looked a bit like the outside in its appearance, a bit grungy and disorganized. This is not to say "totally" disorganized, but books were piled haphazardly everywhere around the store. Admittedly, this sort of bookstore design has its benefits and can be attractive to book-hunters. I know that I like finding little nuggets and goodies in piles of books, that might otherwise be missed. Inside the shop was a little dark and musty, but it had an interesting and otherwise charming feel. They played some good music over the speakers, and the young woman who was the cashier and clerk was friendly and helpful.

The first day I went, the website said they were open, but in fact they had posted some different hours on the door, so when I arrived they were closed. I would recommend people to visit the shop and see what treasures may be had inside. The best sections, in my opinion, were toward the back of the shop, which was in better order. But if you go, give them a call first, to make sure they are open.

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