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On the Road Bookshop Celebrates 40 Years

May 16, 2016 Business No Comments


By John Fitts

CANTON – For 40 years, On the Road Bookshop has sat along the town’s busiest thoroughfare but somehow it still seems a hidden treasure.

Some long-time residents seem unaware of the store but during the latter part of each week you’ll find owner Susan D. Grzyb, her trusty lab mix sidekick Brock, and more than 6,000 books to browse. Titles cover a vast range of subjects and categories such as literature, art, history, poetry, cooking, biographies, philosophy, travel and sports.

“Books endure because of their mystique, but also for a more practical reason,” said owner Susan D. Grzyb. “Books haven’t changed since Gutenberg 600 years ago because the design and functionality can’t really be improved upon.”

In 1976, the shop opened in its current location at 163 Albany Turnpike. Grzyb, who took over in 1997, is the 5th owner. She came to the store following an apprenticeship at the famed Bibliolatree in East Hampton, working with the late Paul Clark.

Grzyb said she learned so much from “Mr. Clark” and said working for him was the best way to learn how to run a store. It wasn’t a stretch for her to assume ownership of a bookshop.

“This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life,” Grzyb said. “This is plan A.”

“I just can’t imagine living any other way, just as I could not live without breathing,” she added. “Being around books is necessity to me; being a bookseller is a calling, not a job.”

Grzyb is constantly purchasing books from private collections and customers who come through the door. She doesn’t take everything, passing on some of the latest trends and material that is quickly outdated – such as restaurant guides. On the other hand, Grzyb said people often throw away books that she would have purchased.

“I’d rather eyeball thousand of books than see something go into the garbage,” she said.

At One the Road, you’ll find some rare, expensive titles alongside plenty of moderately priced titles in paperback and hardcover. And while she does offer some $3 “beach reads,” Grzyb tends to carry titles that have some – well – shelf life.

“I try to sell things that have lasting quality,” she said.

To celebrate 40 years in business,  Grzyb is offering 40 percent off from May 19 to May 22.

And you don’t want to miss a chance to see Brock, a black lab mix she adopted from Labs4Rescue 10 years ago when he was approximately 5. Brock is a store fixture and a great book hunting companion.

“I can’t imagine not having him with me all day,” Grzyb said.

On the Road Bookshop

 

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