warm and cozy, with walls and tables filled with books, and a bookseller who had lots to say about books that I also loved
I spent a long weekend in February in Portland, Maine with my best friend, Jenn DuChene. Jenn–a Wednesday Sister and a Ms. Bradwell–is definitely a good sport for being willing to spend a chilly weekend there with me so I could wheedle my states-I-haven’t-set-foot-in list down to one. Among our many wanderings, we stumbled upon Longfellow Books as we were walking Sunday morning. And while it’s true that we would have happily gone into any open door–the store wasn’t far from our hotel, but it was freezing!–I was particularly surprised and delighted to find a bookstore open at that hour.
The store, Longfellow Books … let’s just say that if there wasn’t a fireplace and a fire, in my memory there is. It was that kind of warm and cozy, with walls and tables filled with books, and a bookseller who had lots to say about books that I also loved. Alex George’s The Good American on the cover of the Indie fleyer, too, and I was hosting him here on 1st Books that week. That definitely made me smile.
Afterwards, Jenn and I bundled back up and set off in search of coffee, and sat and wrote together at a little cafe for a bit. Then we trudged through the snow to the lighthouse across the water, and an abandoned fort near it that was quite haunting.
And now I’m delighted to see that Longfellow Books is one of the bookstores in the My Bookstore anthology (in which I have an essay on Books Inc.). Ron Currie, Jr. is writing about it, so I will be in good company. – Meg
I do occasional posts highlighting independent booksellers, who are so important to helping new literary voices find their audiences; the independents–especially those in the bay area–were instrumental in helping me find mine. If you have a favorite bookstore, please email me and I’ll do my best to have it featured here.