Antiquarian Bookshop in Bucolic Upstate NY Seeks New Owners

Credit: Virginia E. Tremblay

We received a tip this week from antiquarian bookseller Peter Masi about a bookshop in upstate New York that is on the market. If you’ve ever aspired to run a bookshop in the countryside, now’s the chance. With a stock of 35,000 fine, rare, and used books, prints and ephemera, Own Pen Books could be yours.

The “storied store,” as Masi called it, was founded in 1960 by Barbara Probst, who had run a bookstore at Skidmore College until she adopted an abandoned farm in nearby Greenwich, raising chickens and selling old books in a small outbuilding. But Owl Pen Books soon displaced the livestock and has since served the book trade, summer visitors, and local readers and collectors. Around 1980, Probst sold the nineteenth-century farmhouse and the business to Hank Howard and Edie Brown. Howard died last year, and Brown is now looking to sell the dream (historic home, long-established bookshop, 100 acres of land) to the next generation, ideally someone who will continue its legacy.

More information can be found on the Owl Pen Books website. Interested parties can contact realtor Virginia Tremblay at (518) 692-2328.