Tag Archives: Longfellow Books

Portland peninsula bookstores in the age of Coronavirus

While the libraries are opening up in various ways, including curbside service for our island residents, and “PPL-to-go” for those of use who like to make good use of our Portland Public Library, sometimes a bookstore is just what you need, especially if you are looking to purchase a book as a gift. Here is a rundown of which bookstores, within walking distance of Casco Bay Lines, are open for those who need books.

Longfellow Books. This beloved and venerable Portland landmark is still closed for browsing but offers this information on their website: We are currently closed to the public, but we are providing curbside pick-up Monday-Friday, from 1:00-4:00 PM and Saturday from 12-2 PM. AND we can still ship you books as always–we will continue to waive shipping fees for those experiencing financial hardship!  We will be here answering phones and processing orders Monday- Friday 10am-4pm.

Sherman’s Bookstore. In contrast, this store on Exchange Street, is very open to the public. Exchange Street is blocked off to car traffic these days, which makes for a very pleasant stroll. According to their website: Our Website is Open and Mailing Out Orders Daily. You Can Now Order Online and Pickup In Store or Curbside. (Wait for Our Call Before Coming to Pickup…We May Not Have Your Book in Stock Yet!). Thanks For Shopping Locally!

Print: a bookstore. This lovely store at the foot of Munjoy Hill,  is one of Portland’s newest bookstores. They are still closed to the public, but do have curbside service. On their website, updated July 27th, they state: At this time, the doors of Print remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are, however, still here to get books to you. We continue to offer shipping directly to customers – with free shipping on orders over $20 – and curbside pickup from 1p to 4p, six days a week.

Yes Books. If browsing through used bookstores is your thing, you’re in luck. Yes Books, located next to Congress Square Park, and across from the art museum, is open to the public. No doubt protocols are in place, so wear your mask. This is a great place for the atmosphere and charm, alone.

The Green Hand Bookshop. This charming bookstore, located in the arts district on Congress Street, is owned by my friend Michelle Souliere, and offers a “warm outpost with shelves stacked with a handpicked selection of secondhand books from all genres.” The Green Hand opened up mid-July to the public, with limited hours. Michelle does offer pick-up, for those who aren’t ready to venture into her shop.

Carlson Turner Antiquarian Books and Bookbindery. Another longtime institution on Congress Street, advertises that We are currently open by Appointment or Chance. Give us a call if you want to stop by. We’re planning to RE-OPEN and returning to regular hours EARLY to MID JULY. We hope to see you then! (I haven’t walked by yet, to see if they are indeed open).

There are other options for specialty books, such as Casablanca Comics and Maine Historical Society’s museum shop. And don’t forget that the Ivy Hall Gift Shop on Long Island, also has books for sale! So, there is no reason to not be able to continue to purchase books in Portland and our island, and support our local booksellers.

Island reading in the time of Coronavirus

If you’re a book lover  this is the prime time to be living on an island. Although our library is closed, there are still a myriad of opportunities for folks who love the written word. First of all, most of us have a “Tsundoko” – it’s a Japanese term, which refers to the stack of books on a bedside table waiting to be read. When that runs out, we can delve into our libraries to reread old favorites. Then, we borrow books from friends (social distancing, of course).

For those who don’t mind reading books on a device, you can download books through a variety of sources, including the Long Island Community Library e-books and audiobooks – see Long Island Community Library website for more information.

Beyond reading books, for those who have access to a computer, there is a whole world out there for literary experiences, as businesses and organizations in the business of the written word are expanding their offerings to the online community.

For example, here in Maine, you can attend poetry readings online such as this one at Longfellow Books’ website, which offers a poetry reading by Scott WithiamLongfellow Books is also willing to mail books.

For the writers in our midst, there are online classes available through the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance

Maine Women Writers Collection offers a fun Instagram as well as a Quarantine Book List by Maine women writers.  Greater Portland Landmarks also offers their suggested book list

That’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more out there. (Anyone have any favorites?)

So, there’s no excuse, in these days of quarantine, to not be able to expand your universe beyond the walls of your home – especially through books!

Cats and books!

Longfellow Books adopt-a-cat Longfellow Books adopt-a-cat BobSomehow cats and books go together. Most librarians I know own cats. Some libraries have resident cats (see Dewey : the small-town library cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron, a copy of which is at the Long Island Community Library). Many bookstores have cats too. Our own Longfellow Books on Monument Square in Portland has teamed up with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland to offer a temporary bookstore home to help kitties find a new family to love. First there was Gus, and then Alexia, and most recently Bob – all have been adopted. What a wonderful idea!