SCHENECTADY — A stone’s throw away from Little Italy and in the shadow of City Hall, Jay Street is a microcosm of Schenectady life, and Open Door Bookstore has embodied that for its customers for more than 40 years.
The little bookstore on Jay Street first opened for business in 1971 as a place for children’s literature under original owner Betty Fleming. Since Janet Hutchison bought the store in 1992, the focus has expanded to include jewelry, scarves home accessories, handbags and more. The store has something for everybody — kids, mom and dad. It’s the bookstore’s mission to “provide the best selection in books and in gift merchandise in the Capital Region,” said Hutchison
The Open Door Bookstore regularly offers events that bring neighbors into its open doors. Twice a year, the bookstore sponsors contests specifically for children. There’s a writing contest in the spring, and an art contest in the fall. Every summer, there are free programs involving stories, arts and crafts. And, throughout the year, the bookstore features book signings with area authors
Local businesses are now participating in a literary scavenger hunt based on the Brendan Wenzel book, “They All Saw a Cat.” Customers can find clues in and around the neighboring businesses. The clues from which must be obtained through Open Door Bookstore. “We’ve had such a great response from it in the past,” said Amy Lane, the bookstore manager. Lane said the scavenger hunt will culminate with a book signing with the Wenzel on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
“I love being here,” said Lane, “and being a part of the Open Door. It’s a great place to be.”
For more information on The Open Door Bookstore, visit www.opendoor-bookstore.com, call 346-2719, or visit 128 Jay Street in Schenectady.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.