Former tavern transformed into bookstore in Turners Falls

Co-owner Adam Tobin shelves books at Unnameable Books on Avenue A in Turners Falls.

Co-owner Adam Tobin shelves books at Unnameable Books on Avenue A in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Unnameable Books at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls.

Unnameable Books at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Co-owner Adam Tobin at Unnameable Books on Avenue A in Turners Falls.

Co-owner Adam Tobin at Unnameable Books on Avenue A in Turners Falls. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books.

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books.

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books.

Unnameable Books has opened at 66 Avenue A in Turners Falls, selling both new and used books. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 10-26-2023 3:09 PM

TURNERS FALLS — The former Hubie’s Tavern is entering a new chapter.

The beloved tavern and restaurant at 66 Avenue A has been transformed into a bookstore owned by Adam Tobin and Penelope Bloodworth. As the only bookstore in the village of Turners Falls, Unnameable Books, as it is called, will have both new and used books for sale.

“There is a lot of culture that gets passed through both a new and used bookstore,” said Tobin, who has been working in the book industry for more than two decades. “This has them both.”

The store officially opened on Saturday, Oct. 21, and celebrated by holding an eight-hour poetry reading marathon that was well attended by local writers and poetry lovers alike. Tobin and Bloodworth plan to continue to host poetry readings and other cultural events like fiction readings, book launches, curated reading series and movie nights nearly every weekend.

“But the main thing is to provide a space for curated books,” Tobin noted. “I want it to be a place where lots of different people talk to each other, and if they don’t talk, their interactions are mediated through the books here.”

The front of the store features a selection of new books and the back portion is packed with curated sections of used books in all the major genres. Tobin said he has been known to have strong poetry, philosophy and fiction sections, but he mentioned items in the strong sections are often sold quickly in used bookstores.

“There are many great Latin American novels right now,” he added.

Tobin has been in the book industry for more than 20 years. For the past 17, he owned a bookstore in Brooklyn under the same name. About six years ago, he left Brooklyn with his child and moved to Ashfield, managing the bookstore from afar.

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“Once it became apparent I wasn’t needed at the bookstore all the time, he said, “I decided I should have a bookstore closer to home.”

Tobin said, speaking from anecdotal experience, he thinks the book industry is doing very well. He said people continue to purchase and read books, and a growing number of bookstores have popped up in the broader area.

“Every year the sales go up,” Tobin noted. “There are so many writers, and writers are readers, and readers are potential writers. It feels like a thriving place and time for literature.”

While there is the Montague Bookmill in Montague Center and several bookstores in Greenfield, Tobin noted there are no other bookstores in Turners Falls. Tobin said he thinks Turners Falls has a great downtown, and he believes all great downtowns should have a bookstore, a record store, a cafe, restaurants and bars.

“I hope I am part of helping to bring more commerce downtown to make Turners a thriving place to live and be,” Tobin said.

Unnameable Books can be found on Instagram and Facebook for information about upcoming events. There are no set regular hours, but Tobin noted they will be firmed up in the coming weeks. In the short-term, the store will be open Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to its Facebook page. A website is in the works, too.

“I am excited to be here in downtown Turners,” Tobin said, “and excited to be part of the local community and the larger regional literary community.”

Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.