Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

If You Dream of Owning a Bookstore, Here’s Your Chance

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Want to be owner of a beloved bookstore, without having to start from somewhere fresh? You’re in luck, as Owl Pen Books in upstate New York has just hit the market and is looking for someone to carry on the store and her legacy.

exterior of book barn at Owl Pen Books

Located in Greenwich, New York, Owl Pen Books is part of a series of book barns built around a Sidehill Colonial which was built in 1930. Owl Pen Books is a beloved institution, with book lovers making it a must-see stop on their literary journeys.

The home and series of book barns are on a gravel road with approximately 100 acres of land. Owl Pen is a rare and used bookstore, opened in 1960. The owner, Barbara Probst, had run a bookshop at Skidmore College and bought the land to live on and develop the shop. She used the chicken barn.

bookshelves inside Owl Pen Books

In 1980, Probst sold the property to Hank Howard and Edie Brown. They’ve operated the business since, who regularly make trips to homes in the area to acquire books. The shop currently has over 35,000 books, ranging from inexpensive used titles to rare and antiquarian titles for serious collectors.

Howard died in 2020 and the property is being sold by Brown. She’s interested in selling to someone as passionate about books and the business as she and Howard. The house is in fine condition, and the shop is currently open and operating.

Imagine the possibilities. In addition to owning and running the shop, perhaps the historic home could serve as a reader’s dream retreat destination, either as a literary Airbnb, a space for writer’s workshops, or a permanent home for an impassioned reader. It’d be an incredible space to host lectures or events for those eager to learn more about rare books, too.

bookshelves inside Owl Pen Books

The full listing for the property is available, with contact information for the seller’s agent. You can learn more about Owl Pen Books, including what it offers, how its achieved status as a reader’s destination, and more on the shop’s website.