$1 Books And A Little Red Shack

If you are ever in Livingston, New York and driving lazily along route #9, watch for a little red shack. When you spot it, park on the grass and get the heck out of the car because you are in for the finest adventure on a dime there ever was. Melanie Nelson, a passionate bibliophile, has converted a gorgeous property that originally included an old inn, into the permanent site of possibly the biggest-little country book sale ever.

Melanie’s little book sale includes multiple buildings and 20,000+ books. Even more amazing is the fact that all hardcover books are one dollar and paperbacks fifty cents. The books are meticulously arranged according to topic and in great condition. True to her assertion that her inventory is not stocked with unappealing cast-offs, we found a wealth of desirable reading material and everything from Harry Potter and kids books to classics, philosophy, plays, biography, history, fiction, military, current popular titles, and beautiful art, music, and poetry selections.

Front porch

Kids shed

Stopping off along the road had never proven so magical and in addition to the quaint buildings overflowing with books was a tag sale that offered antique china teacups for twenty-five cents. The deals don’t end with teacups. If you are a record collector, be prepared to suffer serious danger of nostalgia overload upon perusing the thousands upon thousands of records stocked in the music building. A step back in time might just be a step forward for your psyche.

There was a palpable sense of yesteryear as Melanie sat on her porch, nibbling on a sandwich and chatting about her cats. When I purchased a hand-woven bag for two dollars and two Christmas ornaments at a nickel total, this timeless entrepreneur shook out change from an old jar. And something tells me that if – in the future – you purchase a teacup, it just may include chamomile steeping away.

tea cups

Sometimes it seems that people like Melanie are perhaps mystical beings placed on the planet to spread joy just because “why not?” Her complete fascination with all literature was contagious but what was most engaging was her obvious generosity and desire to make the books available on a dime.  As if the invitation to shop the always-open red shack and just leave your payment in the slot wasn’t enough, she also encourages patrons to bring a lunch and make themselves at home on the grounds.


If you cannot get to New York, visit her online and even if you don’t make a purchase, please give her a thank you. In a world filled with big box consumption, this woman is a reminder that life can be elusive in the self-check line of an overly air conditioned cavern, while it is easily accessible – courtesy of a genuine woman offering heartfelt, face-to-face moments – along a sunny country road.


About the Book Shack —-  the original LITTLE RED BOOK SHACK,  and  the WHITE COTTAGE ANNEX  a few steps away (in the photo), and the BIOGRAPHY SHED.  And opening 2013 The Kids Shed – AND starting September 2013 a 5th building for vinyl.   The important facts are — 20,000 used books for sale in the 3 room shack and  3 rooms annex, and the large Biography Shed, and now the Kids Shed.   And the vinyl collection.   ALL adult paperbacks 50 cents, ALL hardcovers $1.00.  Good clean used books of value, no junk. The books are clean and in very good condition, no exlibrary books,  shelved by topic– maps of buildings and topics are posted..  

           Also –A NEW ACQUIITION OF 6000 CLASSIAL VINYL LP RECORDS, from one collector, added to our current stock of vinyl- LPs priced at 1.00 each  ( boxed sets slightly cheaper), and Videos and DVDs, and CDs priced at 50 cents including foreign language videos— and cassetts and audio books 25 cents.    A building of thousands of clean children’s books priced at 25 cents each  ( 6  $1.00 ).   Also ephemera,  maps, postcards, and pictures.    Also available, a section of vintage magazines, including collection of National Geographic (pre-1945 only).. ALL  magazines are 25 cents each.    Also old newspapers 50 cents. The buildings are restocked weekly, all books shelved by subject.

ALSO NEW– SHOP ANYTIME, ANY DAY, ANY MONTH if you are passing by —- Self Service Shelves- Outside, on the roadside of the Book Shack- easily visible from the road invite you to stop and shop– Open the glass doors on the shelves and select your books–ALWAYS OPEN – 24 / 7 – year round.  Shop anytime and leave your payment in the mail slot in the door of the Little Red Book Shack 

Park right up on the grass near the Book Shack when you visit us.

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