The History of Strawberry Hill Books

Mary Lou Gastin, owner of Strawberry Hill Books, has been in the book business for more than twenty years. In the early days, she supplied new books to grocery stores, traveling throughout New York State, stocking spinner racks with inspirational books and note cards. One of the authors she featured on these racks was Pansy, the Aunt of Grace Livingston Hill. During a quest to find more titles from this near-forgotten author, Mary Lou was introduced to the used book world and the excitement of finding old volumes filled with knowledge and treasures seemingly lost to this generation.

In the early 90s, she bought an existing used bookshop in Pittsford, NY, on the scenic Erie Canal. She created an atmosphere of learning, history and community with her choices in titles and her love for conversation. But even with all the titles she stocked, customers still came in asking for certain out-of-print books such as ones they had had as children, collectibles and series titles, or obscure texts with limited print runs.

Soon, Mary Lou found herself searching for books for her customers. In these early days before the Internet connected book dealers, she resorted to sending request newsletters, poring over lists and contacting individual collectors and dealers. Even with all the painstaking research and the long wait for responses, there was always a sense of satisfaction each time she was able to connect a customer with his or her treasured book.

Eventually Mary Lou closed her shop to become exclusively a book search service. Now, 15 years later, people all over the world call her for her unique ability to wade through the often overwhelming information the web has to offer to zero in on the best quality and best priced copy for her customers.

With several decades of book experience, it’s safe to say that if there’s one thing Mary Lou knows, it’s books. From her years of supplying stores with new books, to her used bookstore, to her current book search business, her extensive knowledge of the book world is at your disposal. So if you are looking for a book, fill out the convenient search form or contact her to initiate a search.

All content copyright Mary Lou Gastin and Strawberry Hill Books 2006. Website created by Kevin Konikowski. Text by Lisa Tiffin.