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Galapagos Books Grows From Its Roots in Hastings

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Originally hailing from Ecuador, Amada Abad owns and manages the niche bookstore Galapagos Books in Hastings, but has been a part of the downtown shop for even longer.

“I have owned it for 15 years, but I have worked here since the store was opened in 1987, from the beginning,” Abad said.

Abad moved to the United States when she was younger and was welcomed by Susan Lindsey and her family, the original owners of Galapagos Books.

“I came to study, to learn English,” she said.  “The family that owned this place was my sponsor so they were like my parents and they opened the store and I started working here.”

Galapagos has grown from its original niche and expanded to more kinds of books, but its roots are what make this store one of a kind.

“The book store was originally foreign language books, we had over 80 languages and some languages were just a phrase book,” Abad said.   “Then I think five years ago or so, there was foreign language and children’s books and then I added the best sellers and mysteries and young adult.”

With so many different languages available to read, Abad said owning the store gives her the opportunity to travel all around the world to pick up new and different books.  Having owned the store for 15 years now, Abad said it’s still the local customers who make running the business worthwhile.

“It’s the mentality of the people, they love to read books,” she said.  “We have the foreign language books people come from all over to buy a book to learn Spanish or to learn French or also people who are from that country, we also have literature in the languages and they are so happy to see there is a place that carries these languages.”

With an “Off the Shelf” reading and books theme at this week’s Friday Night Live in Hastings, Abad thought this would be a fitting opportunity for Galapagos to sponsor the event.

“It has to do with books so from previous experience if I participate or I have events here it brings more people in and gets more people to be aware of the store,” she said.  “I always like to help out if I can.”

The event will feature several local authors hosting readings of their original work and Abad said that’s the best part because “kids like to meet the authors.”

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