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The Rural We: Kira Wizner

Kira Wizner, a part-time resident of the Hudson Valley, became the new owner of Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, New York last November. When she and her family, who live in NYC, were looking for a weekend place, the requirement was that it be “quiet and lovely,” and they found the perfect home on the border of Millbrook and Amenia. A former English teacher who stopped teaching when she had her daughters, Wizner has embarked on a business career that’s turned out to be a great fit.

I saw that the bookstore had been for sale for about six months and I thought, how can we have a house where there’s no bookstore? That’s impossible. It seemed clear that owning it would be a wonderful match for me.

Photos: Sara Fox Photo

This is a new venture for me, but I joke that I was a very good shopper. Selecting books has been an intense learning curve; there are so many titles published each year. I have to hone my selections and make sure I have enough variety for everyone, not just with books but also in toys and small gifts. I feel like I’m there for everyone in Millbrook and make it a point to offer merchandise at all price points. As a former teacher, I’m always trying to match up kids with books, and I love engaging the customers in conversations about them.

The bookstore has been in business for over 25 years and it already had a staff in place. We continue to have events but I am thinking about how to refresh the conversation around books, authors and topics. On July 9 at the Millbrook Farmer’s Market, we are presenting Chef Amanda Freitag, who will do a demonstration and sign copies of her new book.

We’re not quite ready to move to Millbrook full time, so I come up one day a week and early on Fridays. My husband, daughters and I like to ski in the Berkshires, go beagling and, of course, read! As a family we love to travel — we try to take an extended family vacation each year. This summer we’ll travel to London and other parts of England, and visit some wonderful bookstores along the way.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/13/16 at 01:11 PM •