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Wm. H. Adams' Antiquarian Books

Retired and anticipating new careers as a booksellers, Bill and Diana Adams were living in Manhattan when they first visited the South Kortright area and the Dax Family and were struck by the natural beauty of the area. A year later during a trip to visit family in the midwest while driving through Hobart they saw the corner store for rent and spoke to the owner, deciding to rent the store on the spot. Even though it seemed an unlikely location for a book store the area was inviting. During the first year, 2001-2002 they began moving in the books he already owned.

Bill and his wife had to rent a vehicle at first because of the constant trips back to Manhattan each week. After a few months they purchased a double-wide in town to be their upstate home. This allowed them to spend more time to build the business. There was an informal opening during the summer of 2002 but it was a quiet first year because of the street repair.

A large breakthrough for the business came with an article in the NY Times in 2005 by John Motyka discussing five surprising bookstores in the tiny, obscure upstate village of Hobart. Bill shortly after sent a letter to the editor of the New York Daily News pointing out that while there are five new NYC specialty bookshops and 23 general used bookstores in downtown Manhattan that works out to only one store for more than 98,000 people. With a population of 370, Hobart has a bookstore for every 74 people. Six years later this article is still working its magic, drawing many metropolitan visitors to experience the "book village" and the local charm. Many of the visitors relate similar stories of amazed talk about the five little bookstores thriving up in the Catskill Mountains.

Now in the 9th year the bookstore is busier each year with stock continually increasing. Bill and Diana purchased the building in 2005. They were then able to open the upstairs and more recently the basement for additional retail area. The collection of books is more antiquarian than most stores. There is a good selection of volumes from the 16th & 17th centuries. They both enjoy stocking books from many classical periods including Greek, Latin, and the Roman Empire.

Among the special volumes is an expensive sixth edition (1785) Johnson Dictionary valued at more than $2000. There are also many volumes at more modest prices, often with inexpensive editions next to the special edition. These books are not necessarily considered exotic though they seem so, but should be read and appreciated. The Adamses feel they are custodians of rare books, saving many of them like works of art for the right moment in time for them to be enjoyed. While sales of some volumes are slow, they are committed to helping make available rare and unusual books to a wider audience.

There is also a better than average selection of local books, many prior to the 20th century, as well as more modern local volumes dealing with history, events, and social issues. Not all the books are expensive either, with many of them in the $5 to $10 range. Also featured in the store is artwork from 4 or 5 local artists, also for sale at reasonable prices.

The Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Bookstore is the founding member of the Hobart Book Village. The Book Village was not planned but developed naturally over time. As more bookstores opened in Hobart they developed common shared interests and wanted to help promote each other. The stores participate in joint events such as author signings and private sales. Although each store has its own specialty, the stores work together to promote book sales and generate interest in books and local business opportunities in the village of Hobart. You can visit online at

Bill is a retired Physician and Internist. Diana retired in June of 2010 as an Attorney for the United States Justice Department. Both are now full time proprietors of the bookstore. They are very happy being part of the village of Hobart and find life in this West Branch of the Delaware River location to be idyllic. The store has a preference for walk in customers but also does some limited selling online, including through

Wm. H. Adams'
Antiquarian Books
Uncommon Books at Reasonable Prices
P. O. Box L, Route 10, 602 Main Street
Hobart, NY 13788
Tel: 607-538-9080 •