I’ve given another Bookstore + Bar the accolade of “one of the happiest places on Earth,” and I’m here now to say that that is a blanket statement I’m giving to all bookstores doubling as bars (and vice versa). This is because I finally visited Quill Books & Beverage in Westbrook, Maine for the first time – and a few more times after that.
There’s Something About The Maine State Library
For the first time, I visited the Maine State Library and – shocker – it was fantastic.
My trip was prompted by the latest book chosen for the #AnHistorianReads book club. The library I frequent did not have a copy, and I could not request the book from the Maine State Library (to be delivered to a nearby library they are connected to) without a state library card. So I decided to spend a lovely Saturday morning making the trip up to Augusta (the capital of Maine) to get a card and the book.
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.
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 M A I N E 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.
There’s Something About Barnes & Noble
When I started my On The Road series, I told myself to stick to writing about bookstores, cafes, and hangouts that are underrated, exceptionally special to me, and on my non-physical bookish bucket list. From the title of this blog post, you are probably thinking, “way to veer off track,” and you’re right, sort of. The reason I’m making an exception for this Barnes & Noble is because it’s the only B&N in Maine (even our neighbor New Hampshire has four), so trips there are a little more exciting than if there were more locations in the state (I tell myself).
There’s Something About Powell’s City of Books
For my first trip to the west coast (Portland, Oregon to be exact), I made sure Powell’s City of Books was at the top of my must-see list. Powell’s is an independent bookseller, has an inventory of over two million books, and is a third-generation owned business with five locations around Portland. Its flagship location at 1005 W Burnside St. also happens to be the largest new and used bookstore in the world – and it occupies an entire city block.