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  • Writer's pictureCatherine White

Corning’s Card Carrying Books & Gifts

Five Years of Community Support and Celebration

If you’re in Corning, you’ll find the heart, soul and conscience of the city at Card Carrying Books & Gifts, located on Market Street.

The inclusive bookstore, which is celebrating five years in business, is owned by Randi and Dusty Hewit, well known members of the Corning community who’ve provided personal and professional support to the city ever since choosing to settle and raise their family there.

The idea for a safe, inviting place that provided public space for activists, particularly feminists, to congregate, share resources and celebrate marginalized voices came out of an idea that Randi and a friend dreamed up while participating in a feminist book club together in 2017. In 2018 their idea for a feminist clubhouse, of sorts, became reality when Card Carrying Books & Gifts opened in the heart of Corning’s business district.

Since opening its doors, the bookstore has become much more than a feminist clubhouse. It is a welcoming place for community gatherings, socializing and shopping.

They offer an array of books of interest in all genres and for all ages. Reading options to while away those idyllic summer days at the lake, or gifts to take home to loved ones from your visit to the Finger Lakes region, can all be found while perusing the bookstore’s shelves. Card Carrying has the popular best-sellers you’ve seen promoted, and also shows some love and attention to lesser known titles by and about women, POC and LGBTQ+ people. And, if a title you’re looking for isn’t in stock, the store’s helpful staff will get it ordered for you.

Photos provided. Scenes from Card Carrying Books & Gifts, a progressive and inclusive bookstore, celebrating five years in business in downtown Corning, NY.

You can also find gifts with a decidedly activist and humorous perspective. If you’re looking for a unique, cheeky or smart gift, including stickers, mugs, socks and other fun items, Card Carrying Books & Gifts can fulfill your needs.

The bookstore is always busy with author readings and signings, community fundraisers, activities in participation with Gaffer District events, and visits from those just stopping by to say ‘Hello’ to Card Carrying’s knowledgeable and welcoming staff, led by manager, Bethany, and cool cat, Page.

From the time it opened, the store, and its owners, have done their best to project the creative, progressive, helpful spirit of the Crystal City. That has included showing up for public and civic events, and doing their best to ensure that the community is informed and educated about upcoming local elections, and area news and events.

Whether they’re supporting local progressive events like Corning Pride and the recent Bans Off Our Bodies abortion rights rallies, community groups such as Corning Rugby Club with their philanthropy, or providing a safe space for local artists and writers to host open mic poetry events, BIPOC and female-conscious book clubs for youth and adults, Card Carrying Books & Gifts has consistently provided a positive, safe, welcoming environment to all in the region since opening.

It doesn't matter if you're shopping or just looking for a fun, interesting place to hang out and get a taste of Corning's vibe, you won't be disappointed when visiting Card Carrying Books & Gifts.

Stop in, check them out and help them celebrate five years in business!

News to Know:

Information: Card Carrying Books & Gifts, 15 E. Market St., Corning, NY 14830

Hours: Noon-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Contact: 607.684.6114,

Website: Social media: Facebook, Instagram: @cardcarryingshop


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