News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Green Toad

Professor Will Read From Novel, ‘Before Che,’ Sign Copies Saturday

Professor Will Read From Novel,

‘Before Che,’ Sign Copies Saturday

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War, reenter the fray in 1950s Cuba in Peter Rutkoff’s new novel.
Rutkoff

ONEONTA – Peter Rutkoff of Cooperstown will be reading from his latest book, “Before Che,” and signing copies 2-4 p.m. this Saturday at the Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St.

The novel depicts survivors of the Lincoln Battalion from the Spanish Civil War becoming involved in Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution of the 1950s.

‘Scripture Sonnets’ Author Debuts At Green Toad

‘Scripture Sonnets’ Author

Debuts At Green Toad

Author Bob Davidson, left, Oneonta, is seen here talking to Evan Rees, Oneonta, during Davidson’s book signing at The Green Toad this afternoon. His book “Scripture Sonnets” is a selection of his favorite passages from the Bible written into sonnet form. He will be there until 4 p.m. today signing and talking with visitors. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com
Turning A Page At Green Toad

Turning A Page At Green Toad

By LIBBY CUDMORE • All OTSEGO.com

Edition of Friday, Nov. 14 2014

ONEONTA

Jim Havener poses with Michele Barry in front of the Green Toad after signing papers to acquire the downtown mainstay. (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA)
Jim Havener poses with Michele Barry in front of the Green Toad after signing papers to acquire the downtown mainstay. (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA)

Whenever Jim Havener went out of town, he always brought something back for Michele Barry at the Green Toad Bookstore.

“He’d come in and say, ‘I stopped in the cutest little bookstore and they did this…’,” she said. “It showed me he was interested and in touch with what works in a business.”

It was that interest that inspired her to ask him about buying The Green Toad, the Main Street bookstore that’s become a downtown mainstay since she opened it in November 2008.  “The community was thirsty for something like this, and we created a comfortable environment for readers,” she said. “We created a culture that didn’t otherwise exist in this community.”

And on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Havener started his first day as the bookstore’s new owner. “It’s like the first day of school,” he said. “That’s exactly how I feel. It’s exciting.”

In 2011, Barry began to think about retiring from the bookstore. “I started looking ahead to the future, when my daughter Jackie went off the college,” she said. “But it’s important to me that the store succeed, and we’ve got so many loyal, wonderful customers.”

Havener, a 1983 Cooperstown Graduate Program graduate, owner of the Furniture Doctor in Milford and the director of the Milford Historical Society, had been a customer of hers since the beginning. “I came in the first week,” he said. “I could come in and talk to her, or just come in to relax. Bookstores reflect the character of the people who run them, and that’s why this has become such a community-oriented place – because that’s who Michele is. I want to add to that.”

Havener has already begun adding his own personal touches, including a chair and a dresser to display hand-made jewelry and hats. “I restore furniture, so I want to add my home furnishings line,” he said. “I also want to introduce historic photography of the American vernacular, pictures of everyday life, and deepen the book selection. I read a lot of history and non-fiction.”

Gift cards and the Customer Loyalty program will remain in place, and much of the staff will continue to work there. “It will be the same, except Jim will add all his fabulous furnishings!” said Barry.

Barry will also continue to work at the store through the holiday season. “After that, the future is wide open,” she said. “I haven’t decided what I’ll do next.”

Green Toad Bookstore Sold To Milford’s Jim Havener

Green Toad Bookstore Sold

To Milford’s Jim Havener

Oneonta's Green Toad Bookstore, founded six years ago, is changing hands.
Oneonta’s Green Toad Bookstore, founded six years ago, is changing hands.

ONEONTA – The Green Toad Bookstore, which has become a downtown mainstay in the six years since its founding, has been sold to Jim Havener of Milford, proprietor Michele Barry announced today.

“Jim has been a customer and friend since the Green Toad opened,” Michele said. “He is a natural fit for the store with a background in museum studies and a love for history. He is gregarious, smart, and approachable.”

Havener, a Cooperstown Graduate Program graduate, has operate the Furniture Doctor, a furniture restoration operation in Milford, for the past 28 years. His wife, Jeanne-Marie, is director of Hartwick College’s nursing program.

Barry said much of the staff will remain in place.

In a letter to customers, she said, “Your staunch support has taught me the value of shopping local and the ripple effect is has in OUR economy. I have loved being a part of your lives.”

Green Toad Book Swap Hopping

Green Toad Annual Book Swap Is Hopping

Book lovers were lined up outside the The Green Toad this morning awaiting the opening of the annual book swap, which continues to grow into a early anticipated event. On the right, Father Kenneth Hunter and his son Greg browse hardcovers for summer reads. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Book lovers were lined up outside Oneonta’s The Green Toad Book Store this morning awaiting the opening of the annual book swap, which continues to grow into a much-anticipated event. On the left, Father Kenneth Hunter, pastor, St. James Episcopal Church, and his son Greg browse hardcovers for summer reads. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103