In The Little Free Library Right Now - At Polhill Park

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Here is a quick browse of what you might find in the Little Free Library right now, in Polhill Park, the little triangle of land at the beginning of Beacon’s Main Street near the train station, on Wolcott.

If you’re walking with kids, it’s a nice literary treat for little hands to pick up a book. If you have a few books that are ready for re-circulation back into the world, you can leave a book at any time too (as long as it fits inside the tiny Library - no ground drops!).

There are other Little Free Libraries around, including one up at Stony Kill Farm on Route 9D. This Polhill Little Free Library was built in 2015, and we wrote about it here.

Postcard Books - Yes, Mini Books Sent By Mail - From Paravion Press At Binnacle Books

Photo Credit:    Izdihar Dabashi

Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Summer is a haze of rush and lull with lazy days stretching like evening shadows and busy days of bustling afternoon traffic. Sunny seasons in Beacon are filled with expressions of travel: tourists flooding in for the various festivals and serenity of this riverside city; residents trickling in and out of town.

Traveler or not, postcards offer a distinctive alternative to a stale phone call or a routine text as a way of staying in touch. Especially intriguing, however, are postcard books - mini books to be mailed - available at Binnacle Books, published by Beacon-based Paravion Press.

What is a postcard book? The publisher at Paravion Press, Will Brady, enlightens us: “The concept came about at the shop in Greece [Atlantis Books, which Will co-founded] because we wanted to give customers an alternative to postcards, something they could mail easily but which had a bit of literary substance to it.”

The first page of a postcard book, intended for your short letter to your recipient. The rest of the essay or short story is printed on the pages behind this one. An envelope is included.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The first page of a postcard book, intended for your short letter to your recipient. The rest of the essay or short story is printed on the pages behind this one. An envelope is included.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Binnacle Books, a charming bookstore nestled on Beacon’s Main Street, sells a collection of these postcard books. Postcard books are short reads meant to be sent by mail. Each book comes with an envelope and a blank first page titled “for your correspondence” for the sender to add in a few words of their own. Postcard books reveal a sense of thoughtfulness to the receiver, the sender having chosen a specific title to express a particular theme or message creatively through stories or essays in place of mundane phrases and cliché sayings.

Says Kate, co-owner of Binnacle Books about the postcard book project: “We love Paravion Press because the books are really beautiful, and because we think that the power of literature is the strongest when people connect with each other through it: Paravion builds in a charming and unexpected way to share literature and we love that. Will Brady designs and prints new editions of all the works, specifically to be mailed and shared. It's a whole engaging intellectual and aesthetic experience in a mailable form.”

What Inspires A Person To Send A Postcard Book?

One girl in the bookstore said that she loved the postcard books because they made available essays that were otherwise hard to find, usually lost in other larger collections of essays. Years ago, she said, a friend had sent her a PDF of an essay she loved. She re-discovered the essay through a postcard book from Paravion Press, and sent it back in postcard book form to her friend with a handwritten note on the intended first page. Postage is the same as a regular letter.

What Titles Are Available In These Postcard Books?

Inside of Binnacle, I found seven postcard book titles. Five are included in their first collection, appropriately titled “The First Series.” The collection includes:

  • “The Beauties” by Anton Chekhov

  • “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying” by Mark Twain

  • “Sophistication” by Sherwood Anderson

  • “The Lumber-Room” by Saki

  • “Feuille d’Album” by Katherine Mansfield.

The single titles include “The Hunting of the Snark” by Lewis Carroll and “How the First Letter Was Written” by Rudyard Kipling. Available in a variety of muted colors, from dusty maroon and delicate ivory to powder blue and subtle green, the sophisticated aesthetic adds to the appeal of miniature books in the mail.

A postcard book, “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying,” by Mark Twain. Available in Binnacle Books. Envelope is included with the package. Postage is the same as a regular letter.  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

A postcard book, “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying,” by Mark Twain. Available in Binnacle Books. Envelope is included with the package. Postage is the same as a regular letter.
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

On Sending A Postcard Book To One’s Self…

Mark Twain’s “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying” immediately caught my eye in my search for a birthday card to send to a friend; I figured a postcard book would provide sentiment and provoke conversation. I could not help but skim over the words inside, and before I knew it, I thoughtfully read the brief 11 pages of this curious piece. A balance of sharp critique and tongue-in-cheek remarks, Mark Twain crafted a refreshing, clever piece unraveling the psychology of lying.

To my delight, Paravion Press sells three more postcard book collections online including “The Madrid Series,” “The London Series,” and “The New York Series.”

Is it strange that I wish to collect as many as I can to send to myself?

UPDATE: Mystery Flyer About Tuesday Book Club For Parents

book club tuesdays memorial park.jpg

UPDATE [7/12/2019]: We should have scanned the QR code right off the bat. This is for a specific book about parenting. It has been removed from our “Repeating Meetings + Events Guide” because the title should have been on this flyer, and not been disguised. We are leaving the article up in case any others were checking back for updated information.

UPDATE [7/12/19]: This Book Club is actually a mystery. We have not attended it yet, and haven’t heard from anyone who has. If you have information, please email Thanks!

Happy Independent Bookstore Day, Binnacle Books! Last Chance On Their Original Tote Bag


Happy Independent Bookstore Day Binnacle Books! It’s risky for any retail shop to open a brick-and-mortar store, but perhaps even more so for an indie bookstore! Many cheers to Binnacle Books for doing that in Beacon, and for connecting all of us with the printed page and for readings and other book 📖 based events.

It’s also really easy to order any book you want from Binnacle - just tell them what you want over the counter or the phone, they click up some magic, and 💥 BAM, you can pick it up in the store!

Binnacle Books has helped promote other indie bookstores by making available the Hudson Valley Book Trail Map, debuting today in their shop. Plus, this is your last chance to get one of their original tote bags - perfect timing for the plastic bag ban!

Says their newsletter: “Stop by to browse some fantastic recent releases, revisit old favorites, or get a recommendation for something new. If you spend $75 or more with us today, we'll throw in one of our original blue totes with your order. If you ever wanted one, now's your chance: after this run sells out, we aren't printing them again.” 

A Little Beacon Blog is honored to partner with all of our sponsors, but especially so when Binnacle approached us, wanting to sponsor our Shopping Guide. Thank you for having faith in us! Binnacle Books is a Sponsor, but this is not a sponsored post. It’s a “Celebrate Indie Bookstores!” post.

Go give Binnacle some love! Binnacle Books is at 321 Main St., Beacon, NY.

Bake Sale Fundraiser For Pleasant Valley Library To Be Held In A Little Beacon Space


After the fire raged in the Pleasant Valley Library in November 2018 and destroyed nearly everything, A Little Beacon Blog was approached to host a bake sale fundraiser in our space (A Little Beacon Space, naturally) in the Telephone Building. The Beacon Teen Library Council is raising money to purchase books for Pleasant Valley’s teen Battle of the Books team, with any additional monies going directly to the fundraising efforts of the library. Dana Devine O’Malley, also known as 5 Hens Baked Goods, who teaches the Bakeology class for teens at the Howland Public Library, will also be volunteering to help organize the bake sale.

Says Michelle Rivas, of the Beacon Library’s Young Adults program, of the initiative: ”Knowing what Pleasant Valley Library was going through, we wanted to help. Participating in the Battle of the Books is a big part of the teen programs at our library. We wanted to make sure the teens in Pleasant Valley would still be able to participate in the competition even though the library was facing its challenges because of the fire.”

According to Michelle, they wanted to make the teens’ fundraising efforts more tangible and measurable by getting to see the books and help deliver them to Pleasant Valley. “When they see other teams compete,” Michelle said, “they know they played a part in making that happen.”

The bake sale will be on Sunday, May 19, from 11 am to 3 pm, at 291 Main St. in A Little Beacon Space inside of the Telephone Building. And it will be delicious. Those interested in baking donated goods can contact Michelle Rivas, at

90 Books Is the Goal for Book Drive for Special Education English Classrooms at Beacon High School


With Get Caught Reading Month coming up in May, the writerly folks at Get Lit Beacon are sponsoring a book drive to bring “student libraries” to the Special Education English classrooms at Beacon High School. Says Flora Stadler, a writer and part of the team that runs Get Lit: "We wanted to give students easy access to books they would enjoy reading, and classroom student libraries seemed like a great option.”

Get Lit is working with Principal Soto and Assistant Principal Simms to start small libraries in the Special Education English classrooms. “The teachers put together a great list of books from diverse authors to get students excited and engaged with reading."

The goal is to provide 90 books to three classrooms. Author and Get Lit Beacon founder Julie Chibbaro will present the books to the school during Get Caught Reading Month in May.

3 Ways You Can Help Make This Happen:

  • Go to Binnacle Books in Beacon to choose books from the teacher wish list, and Binnacle will order them for you.

  • Donate money to the cause through, and Get Lit will buy the books for you. They'll also match total donations, up to $300.

  • You can also purchase books on your own and drop them off any time at Oak Vino Wine Bar in Beacon.

What Is Get Lit Beacon?

Get Lit Beacon is a literary salon founded by writer and teacher Julie Chibbaro. Get Lit Beacon is a way to invite writers out into the community where they can be seen and heard. The salon is a casual gathering where published and aspiring adult writers of any genre can hang out, have a drink and share their work. Usually, one or two professional writers are invited to join and discuss their work.

Get Lit Beacon meets on the Second Sunday of each month (mostly) at Oak Vino Wine Bar, 389 Main St., Beacon.

More Opportunities To Help Beacon Students

A Little Beacon Blog has dedicated a guide to ways you can help the kids and families in Beacon City Schools. This opportunity has been added to the Guide, under the Beacon High School section. Be sure to check that Guide periodically to learn of new opportunities to support BCSD, such as the Color-A-Thon happening for South Avenue Elementary.

Sponsorship is open for that Guide! So, if it’s important to your brand to contact people who care about our schools, please reach out to us if you are interested in sponsoring that Guide. We’ll include your logo and a shout-out!

Postbooks - Books To Be Mailed

Books meant to be mailed - better than a postcard, according to and available at Binnacle Books. We agree! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, #putastamponit!

Binnacle Books is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide, and helps make it possible for us to get the word out about everything local! Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! Click on the Guides + Calendars tabs above to get the Shopping Guide, and get the lowdown on all the shops in Beacon from one place.