Hudson Valley’s Books for Humanity located at 67 Central Avenue (you can park and see the book store from Main Street) is one of Ossining’s newest businesses. The owner, Amy Hall, has been an Ossining resident for over 20 years and wanted to be a part of the wave of exciting new businesses opening in the village. We are incredibly happy that Ossining finally has a Book Store! The space is beautiful and as most of the books are “pre loved”, the prices are affordable.
Amy offers free wifi and welcomes everyone to enjoy the space she created for us.
Now, let’s meet the owner.
1. Tell us a bit about you.
My husband (Rob Lowenthal) and I have lived in Ossining since 2000, where we’ve raised our two daughters – along with numerous pets – first in the village and now in the unincorporated town. Our oldest, a product of the dual language program and the science research program, is now a freshman at Colgate U. Our youngest – a high school junior – excels at art and works at Bigfoot Creamery during the summer. I first came to Westchester because of my job at EILEEN FISHER (headquartered in Irvington), where I started and led the Social Consciousness work for the brand. Twenty-eight years later, I’m still with EILEEN FISHER, though I work more in an advisory capacity while I pursue other interests (like the bookstore!). I also play the bassoon with the Hudson Valley Symphonic Wind Ensemble and enjoy kayaking and cycling whenever possible. My self-built bamboo bicycle often catches people’s attention.
2. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
The inspiration for Hudson Valley Books for Humanity came to me last year when I was cleaning out our bookshelves at home. We had run out of room (does this sound familiar to anyone?) and yet there was no place to take our books for others to enjoy. It occurred to me that used (or “pre-loved”) books can be quite affordable – especially for a socio-economically diverse community like Ossining. I started envisioning a retail space in the heart of Ossining – not just for books, but for dialogue and celebration. Our doors opened just after Thanksgiving 2021, and we’ve been evolving the business ever since. If you walk into the store today, you’ll notice a few things:
(1) About 10% of our books are new, focusing on social justice and planet-friendly living, as well as elevating the voices of historically marginalized communities;
(2) our previously-loved books cover all genres; there’s something for everyone;
(3) we showcase beautiful and affordable products by (mostly) local artisans;
(4) we have lots of comfy seating for people to simply hang out and enjoy the light-filled space; and
(5) we now offer events, like live music, reading with kids, and conversations with authors.
3. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO OPEN YOUR BUSINESS IN OSSINING ?
Rob and I originally chose Ossining because of its proximity to my job in Irvington, but we stayed because of the people, the schools, and the energy of the community. When I thought about where to open my bookstore, I knew it had to be in downtown Ossining. I wanted the store to be accessible by people with or without a car; and I personally wanted to be connected to the heart of this village. There’s something magical happening here, with the rise of independent businesses like First Village Coffee, Penny and Ting, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, Melita’s, Good Choice Kitchen, and many others. And there’s an awakening around environmental and social issues that’s undeniable. It’s a very exciting time for this town.
4. FOR SOMEONE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOUR BUSINESS: WHAT PRODUCT/SERVICE DO YOU SUGGEST THEY TRY AND WHY?
We sell books, yes. But, if you’re not sure what book to buy, you can always take a chance on our “Blind Date with a Book” offerings. (We have them for kids, too!) We also have a line of blankets depicting the maps of Ossining and surrounding towns. These make terrific gifts – especially for that future high school or college grad on your list.
5. GIVE US YOUR BEST OSSINING TIP OR RECOMMENDATION.
With spring and summer approaching, the Ossining waterfront is the place to be! On Saturday, April 23, come visit Westchester’s largest Earth Day Festival, right here in Ossining! There will be live music and yummy food all day, as well as vendors and community organizations – all providing earth-friendly products and services. This is a waste-free even that should not be missed.
HVBH Photo Gallery: (CLICK TO SEE FULL IMAGE)
5 ways to support HVBh
1. Visit the store and get books or products: 67 Central Avenue, Ossining NY
– Mondays and Tuesdays: closed
– Wednesdays and Thursdays: 11 AM to 6 PM
– Fridays: 11 AM to 7 PM
– Saturdays and Sundays: 10 AM to 6 PM
3. Follow HVBH on Instagram
4. Go to one of their Events
5. Share this article with friends! You can use the buttons below.
Thank you Amy for answering our questions, letting us photograph the bookstore and for choosing Ossining! We are so excited about this new space for our community.