Blog,  On the Road

On The Road: The Briar Patch

There’s Something About The Briar Patch

When it comes to cities in the Pine Tree State (granted, we don’t have many), none other embodies the Maine experience like Bangor. It’s a gateway to both the coast and the County, its suburbia sprawls historically around the smaller downtown, and it’s a great place to keep busy and stay content without the hassle of Portland-esque traffic. The food, arts, and entertainment scenes are cozy yet ranging, and Bangor keeps you within an arm’s reach of rural spaces. Of course, a great city – in Maine or anywhere else, really – would not be complete without a great bookstore.

Enter: The Briar Patch. A windowed storefront boasting “Children’s Books and Creative Playthings.” On the other side of the door, new releases – mostly adult – greet you from their display space flanking the counter. It’s quickly clear that the overall space of the bookstore is small, but oh the abundance of worlds it holds.

Behind that display window and to the right are shelves housing Young Adult Fiction (at the time of this writing) – from titles that most Young Adult bookworms are talking about to those less hyped. Popular series, standalones, and classic fantasies fit beautifully together, and the bookshelves themselves are positioned to create sort of a labyrinth you would expect in a bigger bookstore. So if you wanted to sit among shelves and read like you were the only person in the world, you certainly could.

Moving through the shelves and towards the middle of the bookstore, a magnificent train table stands invitingly surrounded by thin children’s books. Continuing on – oh, wait, I can’t forget this little staircase, presumably leading to an Employee Only section, but fun to admire nonetheless.

Okay, now continuing on to the back of the store you will walk past Harry Potter sets and…okay I’ll admit, I was too distracted by the Harry Potter sets and my desire to buy editions different than the one I have to really notice what else was on these shelves. But as you can see there are certainly other books there.

Past those are more children and middle grade books; this is certainly the bookstore to visit if you’ve started planting the seeds of readership and book loving in the mind of a little one.

Circling back towards the front brings you past a small display of Maine authors (which of course includes Bangor-native Stephen King). On this particular visit, the new, 20th Anniversary Harry Potter editions were sitting pleasantly on a cart nearby and before my soul could force my hands to scoop them up my brain veered my body towards the counter. I had a short but friendly chat with the man behind the counter (mostly about those 20th Anniversary Harry Potter editions), and was on my way (see the books I purchased here).

So whether you’ve finished your post-lunch beer at OBC (their Bangor location) and have a couple of hours to kill, or you’re finishing up a stroll along the Norumbega Parkway, or are spending the early morning at Bagel Central, there’s no reason not to make The Briar Patch your next stop.

The Briar Patch
Check them out on Facebook.
27 Central St.
Bangor, Maine


  • You Can Always Start Now

    It looks exactly where I could spend hours. Love the name and I’m thinking independent bookstore which makes it even better (in my opinion). Definitely worth a stop. If you kept driving north and hooked a right you’d be my neck of the woods.

  • actualconversationswithmyhusband

    Just had to call Husband over to ask if THIS was the cute little shop we stopped in on our first “date.”

    He says it was not. Apparently I don’t know which Maine towns we were in and when, because it all looks the same to me. But! Now I have a place I actually want to go if we ever go back! (if only to prove to him that it is/em> the same shop)

    Which also means that once again I’ve opened one of your posts thinking “oh, I’ll just see what she’s up to, shall I?” only to be hit hard, right in the to-do list.

    • Kelsey

      That is too funny! And I hope you do get a chance to come back. Thank you so much for reading and returning; #sorrynotsorry about your to-do list. 😉

  • tessdenoya

    My son got me into the habit of including local bookstores on my exploration of a new area! It’s great for browsing, relaxing, escaping the heat, and the locals in the store are usually helpful with tips for the area. Tess / Explore with Tess

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