Through the big blue door

We’ve been visited by old-timers who remember the place that in the late ’30s sold penny candy and sodas at the corner of Glover and Main where our bookshop has made its home since 1980. We’ve heard from others about the back room where teenagers came to watch t.v. in the ’50s and maybe drink some beer. Some variety of religious thrift shop sold old clothes and odds and ends here. Then Canio Pavone transformed the space into the literary gathering place and the eclectic shop Canio’s Books is today. We’ve heard rumors the huge basement was once a speak-easy during Prohibition, but then, it’s likely most any large underground rooms served a similar purpose in this port town. Access to Sag Harbor Cove through the trees out back may even have provided a clandestine route to transport the rum. In the mid to late 1850s, the building was once owned by a certain Reverend William Musgrave, minister at Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor village. And the wide floorboards in back are said to be part of the original structure which dates from the late 1790s. We have yet to hear from any ghosts. But the voices of so many writers, poets, novelists and playwrights who have read at the shop have now seeped into the walls that the stories they could tell would likely continue for a long long while.

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Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, 631.725.4926. Call or email us, While we love you to SEE you, you can also order new titles at our online storefront or some of our second hand inventory HERE. Thanks for visiting!

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