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The Green Toad Bookstore (it isn’t home ’til there’s a book store)

I have always been a reader. Some kids were athletes. Some were social. I read. And, like most obsessive readers, I became a writer.

It’s a solitary occupation, which is why real estate is a good balance for me. That’s a very social occupation.

But when I’m done, I go back to my little kitchen table in the bay window upstairs and write. It’s how I recharge.

The town I used to live in was full of writers. They even had a yearly writer’s festival. And forgive me, hometown, but it felt like a competition. I wasn’t even comfortable in our local book shop, which should’ve ┬ábeen a tip off that I wasn’t at home there.

I’m insecure enough about my writing that I’m just not comfortable planting my feet and holding forth on my “process.” My process is writing, rewriting, rewriting, putting it in a drawer, then pulling it out after a few years and wondering who wrote that surprisingly okay story.

I’ve moved. And my awkward social self feels entirely at home here, where there’s a bit more space, a lot less competition for the title of “most creative”, and where the local book shop not only welcomes local writers, but invites them to stay and chat about local gossip. “It ought to be a chapter in a book,” the owner said happily after explaining an upcoming election brouhaha.

What is this wonderful place, you ask? It is the Green Toad Bookstore on Main Street in lovely old Oneonta.

It’s a brick and mortar building that actually has brick and mortar. High ceilings, soft light, a massive selection of books, and (hallelujah!) a coffee shop right next door that you can access without going outside.

Where’s that, you ask? It’s three hours from the GWB, for my New York friends. It’s an hour and a half from Albany. It’s a step back in time and it’s just wonderful.

It’s very pretty in the city of hills (Oneonta’s slogan) this time of year. You could visit. It is a whole lot more enjoyable than online shopping. And if you go over Franklin Mountain and drive down a side road in Franklin, you might be able to spot me, sitting at that table by the window in our farmhouse.

Don’t forget to wave. Everyone does here.