Dryden >Bookstores > A Book Barn Of Finger Lakes
198 North Rd, Dryden, NY | Directions 1305342.504866 -76.298401
The store is cool and the selection is good, though dated. The prices, however, are pretty outrageous. A quick price comparison on my iphone revealed that many of the used books being sold there can be purchased elsewhere new for half as much, sometimes less. For example, I was tempted to buy E. D. Klemke's book, The Epistemology of G. E. Moore (NUP, 1969), which was priced there at $40. I could get it new off Amazon for $13 or used for $2!
If the prices had been reasonable, I would have been happy to give the guy $30 or $40 for 5-8 used books. Instead, I left with no books. The owner is only hurting himself.
And any fear of running out of stock by dropping prices would be unwarranted; he's got mountains of boxes of books collecting dust all over the store.
The key to a successful used bookstore is reasonable prices and a constantly rotating stock. This bookstore has neither of those virtues, which is sad because it really is a neat place.
I have been a customer of the Barn for years. On my first visit I introduced myself to Vladimir, and always take time for small talk. I have never questioned his prices, nor haggled over them. I never had problem with him and find him to be most helpful. I have noticed that he does get upset over boorish behavior, especially if the
price is questioned. His stock of books has to be seen to be believed, and his knowledge of it minute. I have always found him to be a true gentleman.
Great selection, but ridiculous prices/misanthropic owner – A Book Barn of the Finger Lakes, as most reviewers have stated, has an incredible selection. Thousands upon thousands of books cover every available horizontal surface, and are literally stacked to the rafters in many areas. While this makes for an incredible selection, one also feels slightly at risk of being crushed by the tottering mountains of volumes. A lot of it is mildly disorganized as well, making specific books slightly difficult to locate.
Now for the (other) bad parts... The owner is a rude, opinionated fellow who initially seemed friendly enough, cordially ushering my family and me to the sections we requested, but then began to shadow us as if we were suspected shoplifters, answering our perfectly reasonable questions with snide and supercilious put-downs, and generally displaying the social graces of your average hermit.
I weep for the books themselves, as the shop is located (as the name suggests) in a barn. It's dusty and hot (it's summer now, presumably cold in the winter), not the best recipe for preserving printed materials. Don't expect to buy books that don't have a least a touch of mustiness about them.
Also, the prices he asks are outrageous, often twice or three times as much as on would expect to pay at other used bookstores in the Ithaca area. I would have gleefully spent $40-$50 on my visit if the prices had been reasonable, but ended up purchasing a single paperback for $10 (I wasn't going to leave empty-handed). While clearly this is the owner's prerogative, I would be unlikely, all other factors aside, to bother with a return trip, when eBay and other used bookstores are alternatives. I was so peeved with the owner and the experience as a whole when I got the point of checking out, that I actually told him I thought his prices were too high, not something I would normally do. He asked me where else I had shopped for books in the area. When I told him, he began making disparaging remarks about these other establishments, and basically informed me that his prices reflected the privilege of browsing through his huge selection (admittedly, he had every single title I looked for, which is saying something.... but I didn't buy any except the one... so you decide).
In short, if you're looking for a very hard to find title, this might be the place for you. But keep your head down, don't ask questions, and get in and out as fast as you can, and be prepared to be gouged.
Incredible! – I visited the Book Barn with my parents during parents weekend. my Dad is always looking for unique books to read, and my brother collects leather-bound classics. overall, my family is just a bunch of avid readers.
when we arrived to the barn, it seemed a little sketchy at first, but once we went inside, it was like a book lovers heaven. the barn is just packed with hundreds upon hundreds of books from floor to ceiling. I had a nice conversation with the owner of the store. he was very nice and checked in as we wandered. his knowledge of his stock is amazing, and he can finding something within seconds, or point you in the direction of the book or section you are looking for. the man know his books. i thought this place was just absolutely incredible. but i would not recommend going there if you have a time limit because it is very easy to spend upwards towards an hour in the Book Barn.
Extremely Rude – I am not surprised by the review titled "Offensive and Verbally Abusive." I called to ask about donating books, and the man who answered the phone was extremely rude. Instead of politely telling me that the books I offered had no resale value, he insulted me. As much as I love books, I will shop elsewhere. If I could assign negative stars as my rating, I would.
Best selection of used books in area! – This place has a surprisingly large inventory on a diverse range of subject matter, and very few "junk" titles on the shelves.
The owner is extremely knowledgeable on his inventory and on published works in general.
Seems to be a good turnover, too: I've been in this place several times now, and there was always something new of interest. Since I tend to look for hard-to-find books, that's saying something.
I wish I lived closer -- I'd be there all the time.
If you love books... – There’s an illustrated edition of the Jorge Luis Borges’ story “The Library of Babel” with etchings by Erik Desmazieres. In it you will find images of an infinite library – winding, endless shelves of books. Everywhere you look –up, down, sideways - books. Books,books,books.
These images automatically pop into mind when you enter A Book Barn Of Finger Lakes. This is the place where all the books you have lent out, lost or lusted after are located. There are bookstores and there is this place – a booklover browser’s dream. This isn't a bargain barn--but each book is thoughtfully priced.
Though it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, books are categorized quite nicely. If you have any trouble finding anything –owner Vladimir Dragan is more than happy to help you out. He seems to have an almost preternatural connection with what he stocks – he’s a friendly guy who most certainly knows his stuff (and loves his cats).
But back to browsing. Before the days of the internet, there was the joy of walking into a bookstore – not knowing just you wanted but knowing you wanted to read something. Sadly, there are few places you can just mentally meander around until you find something that jumps out at you. At A Book Barn my girlfriend and I found a nice edition of a professional manual for 15th century witch hunters (The Malleus Maleficarum), my favorite collection of sci-fi (100 Great Science fiction Short Short Stories) 1917's Wild Animal Ways by Ernest Thompson Seton and The Rivers and Streams of England with 75 colour plates.
Bottom line: If you love books, you’ll love this place. It’s definitely a day trip destination.
Dedicated book hunters will spend hours here. – I've been visiting the Book Barn off and on while back upstate for nearly ten years. The owner, Vladimir, not only instantly located a rare book for me in his stock that I was unable to find anywhere else (the 1980s edition of Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan), but he also introduced me to Christopher Morley's Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop. two truly delightful books that I might never have picked up otherwise. This kind of personalized care and devotion to literature keeps me coming back when I get the chance to make the drive. The Barn stocks a very full children's section (in my experience, rare in secondhand bookstores since these books are often shredded by their first owners), a rich range of fiction and literary biographies, and a marvellous collection of 50s, 60s, and 70s science fiction paperbacks upstairs. Yes, the barn is a warren of piles, a little musty, and the organization is slightly inscrutable to the unititiated. Take a Claritin, ask for a stepladder, and get over it. This isn't Amazon, people; you're coming to the Book Barn for the thrill of the hunt. I could not recommend a better place to spend an afternoon for a true book fiend.
The platonic used book store – My wife and I recently moved to the area and when we visited this store we found it to be an impressive place, both large and crammed with more books-per-foot than any book store we'd ever seen. The owner, Vladimir, was freindly and talkative. While I do not doubt that he was sarcastic and may have sworn as another reviewer said, the several times I have met him, he has been exceedingly friendly, helpful, and informative, if perhaps light on tact. I highly recommend this store to anyone who likes books. The prices are reasonable (to the owner's credit, nothing seems over- or under-priced), and the selection if great.
However, it is a (partially) converted barn, so if you have bad allergies, you may need to cut your visit short.
OFFENSIVE & VERBALLY ABUSIVE – My wife and I had taken the opportunity to drive to thebeaut iful Ithica area today to visit local bookstores.By chance we happened upon "Book Barn of Finger Lakes." this establishment is located on North r oad outside of Dryden.
We entered the Barn to be greeted off handedly, then followed by a male with longish hair and wearing a hat. I presummed he is the owner. He was able to provide direction within the barn to areas that held books of our interest. As I began browsing other areas he became agitated loud and agressive in his questioning of why I could not find a book to my liking from the section I had initially requested direction to. He then turned and walked away with a sarcastic comment when I explained I own all copies that he curently had in stock of my author of choice.
A few moments later I walked to the back of the store where my wife was looking at childrens books. She politley asked this "gentleman" about a specific volume which he did not have in stock. He then told my wife the following," If you want a copy of this I will give you three words, then sticking his face into hers he said loudly GOOD F---ING LUCK!"
At that moment I took my wife and left this establishment..
I highly reccomend to all that your book buying should be done elsewhere.
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