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On The Road: The Green Hand

There’s Something About The Green Hand Bookstore

From one end to the other, Portland (Maine) is only wanting for bookstores in the sense that in a perfect world there would be a bookstore on every block. And the best part of Portland’s bookstore scene is the variety of used bookstores across the peninsula. If I had not already fallen so deeply in love with Carlson Turner Books and Bookbindery by the time I visited The Green Hand, the latter would certainly be my favorite. It does hold quite a close second place spot, however.

Upon entering The Green Hand for the first time, I did what I normally do in a new-to-me bookstore: avoided looking at section markers and instinctively chose a row of shelves. In this case, I found myself perusing theater plays and dramas, and giddily spotted a rare edition of Julius Caesar that matches an edition of Othello that I have. I left it on the shelf for the time being so I could wander the bookstore while touching and pulling books unimpeded by a book-filled hand (I did purchase it along with this edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles).

The few aisles of tall bookshelves look like they go on forever, as if the building stretches beyond what its exterior depth indicates. Mystery, horror, and sci-fi options are quite plentiful, and the bookish and whimsical gift items on the counter are delightful. And don’t be put off by the sections with less overhead lighting – which is expected in a bookstore (or general store/business) in an old building – accent lighting is available for extra illumination [and coziness]. During my first visit, and the couple visits since then, I’ve always been greeted and chatted up by the owner – her obvious love for books and the shop complete the wonderful experience that is shopping at The Green Hand.

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The Green Hand
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661 Congress St.
Portland, Maine


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