The grand Baby Grand Books

It has been six months since Baby Grand Books of Warwick, NY, have closed their doors. The last time I was there was for the College of Poetry workshops last November. I thought it was particularly odd when, one day at the end of 2009, I saw the bookstore’s Web site and saw that the schedule is Saturdays only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I was thinking there must be a mistake, since the schedule change was so sudden, without explanation on the Web site. I didn’t know that the bookstore has closed its doors. When I went to the Poetry on the Loose reading on June 5, there was a sign on the entrance saying attendees must go through the side door. So the bookstore section isn’t open per se, but only the backroom where events are held.
Via e-mail from poet Robert Milby, who is a very familiar face on the Hudson River poetry scene, the owner of (former) Baby Grand Books said the business has been losing money. Considering that this independent bookstore is up against the likes of Barnes and Noble and Borders, and even the Internet bookstores like, I can see how. Robert said that many local poets want to approach the Baby Grand Books owner about re-opening the bookstore by forming a committee. This would be with the owner’s approval, said Robert.
Like other patrons and writers like Robert, I’m disappointed to know that a charming, quaint store like Baby Grand Books felt it had to close its doors due to lack of business.
One silver lining in this cloud is that it’s still used as a venue for the College of Poetry and poetry readings. I think that as long as there are poetry readings and the College of Poetry at what’s now known as 7 West Street (the bookstore’s address), there still should be a Baby Grand Books. Not only are those events great ways to get in touch with the Hudson Valley poetry and art communities, but it’s also a great way to promote the bookstore.

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