The Readers Nook of Plattsburgh

The Readers Nook of Plattsburgh

Local authors, artists find a spotlight for their work

    You’ve just finished reading the latest book in your collection cover to cover. Whether you are looking for the new bestseller, a favorite tome for your collection or inspiration from local authors, you’ll find it all closer than you’d think. Some of the best local Plattsburgh talent is easily within reach, and its location may surprise you.

         Bookburgh Books in the Champlain Centre of Plattsburgh, New York, strays from the average bookstore. Located conveniently in the main shopping center of the Plattsburgh area, the atmosphere draws customers inside with its curated selection of books in the entryway. The welcoming atmosphere and community involvement encourages customers to return. Having been in operation for six years, Bookburgh has remained a unique destination for anyone interested in literature.

With a large number of books available to visitors, it’s easy to get lost in the selections. Every shelf is thoroughly organized, yet fully stocked to the brim with every genre one could fathom. To show customers just how many selections there are, several tables with dozens of books piled high sit toward the back end of the store. If customers are seeking a select title that the store doesn’t have on hand, they can request to have the book delivered.

“The whole back of the store, the vast majority of the stuff, you will not find any place else in town. Doesn’t matter if it’s new or used,” said Charles Loscalzo, owner of Bookburgh Books. “We curate the collection thoughtfully, and bring in all kinds of obscure stuff that people don’t expect to find. The entire universe of books is pretty much available to customers.”

This availability of niche titles isn’t limited to the United States, as Bookburgh makes a habit of stocking the shelves with titles from overseas as well. Many of the store’s selections are the result of using a search service for books from the UK, Germany and Singapore.

“Book rights are geographic, so there might be titles that are only released in the UK, which they can’t get in Canada,” Loscalzo said.

Bookburgh differentiates itself from other bookstores by having a display of local authors and artists work for the Plattsburgh community to enjoy. This offering ranges from books of varying lengths to paintings of different sizes. A variety of over 20 local authors and artists’ works are shown off for any passersby to see, hanging on the walls. As of 2023, over 50 local authors and artists’ work sits in the store.

“There’s a tremendous amount of talent in the North Country,” Loscalzo said.

Upon asking Champlain Centre shoppers about their experience at Bookburgh, it’s clear that the store has left a good impression on the community.

“That’s the one thing I’ve always found unique about Bookburgh,” said Sean Booher, Champlain Centre shopper and Plattsburgh resident. “Not just the niche selection, but the local authors as well.”

This talent ranges from authors who have only one or two books on display within the store, to authors with dozens of books written and national recognition. One of these local authors is New York Times bestseller Kate Messner. 

“She is an extremely prolific local author who has national attention,” Loscalzo said. “She works with one of the biggest children’s publishers in the country, Scholastic Press. Her books are used with early childhood education and teaching.”

Loscalzo hopes Messner will be one of his future visiting authors as book-signing events have relaunched for spring of 2023. “Whenever we’re able to have her in the store, that’ll be a major event.”

Before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, book signings and club meetings happened regularly inside the store. One of the most notable meetings was when animal rescuer and author Mark Manske paid a visit, bringing along a massive owl named Morley for visitors to interact with during the event.

The Plattsburgh area is home to many talented artists and authors. Bookburgh Books provides its visitors with a chance to familiarize and involve themselves with this talent. Additionally, the level of community involvement fosters a culture of continued interest in literature, as well as adding to it with open community events sourced from local talent.

Story and Photos by Michael Hlopko

Leave a Reply