PORTLAND, Maine (NECN) - Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine is planning a soft re-opening Thursday night
following massive storm damage that occurred during the blizzard.
is one of the city's last independent book stores and its comeback rivals
any of the best stories sitting on the store's shelves.
was turned inside out last Saturday after pipes froze during
the blizzard causing the sprinkler system to rain down on thousands of books
and other merchandise
"You know, we lost our entire history, biography, and non-fiction sections. 40 -50-60 percent of our stock is
gone," said co-owner Chris Bowe. "I have to buy all that again without money coming in. Right
now. I have no money to buy
staff discovered they're not going it alone.
chair still blocks the store's entrance, lovers of literature just can't stay
writer Duane Robert Pierson came in to see if he could help because
he says it's his book store too.
count on this place. It's a center for literature in this part of the country," said
In fact, as soon as the literary community heard Longfellow's was under water, the rescue was underway.
was inundated with facebook messages saying what are we gonna do? What are
we gonna do?" recalls Josh Bodwell, Executive Director for the Maine Writers'
and Publishers' Alliance.
now organizing a cash mob, planning a major literary event, and
collecting donations to help the bookstore stay afloat..
while readers can't buy their Valentines at Longfellow's this year,
they can give one
to the store by purchasing a "Great Flood of 2013
gift certificate" to put some quick cash back in the registers.
Bowe says he knew people liked the
bookstore, he just didn't know how much.
they just used us because we were convenient. now i know it's something more," he says.
It is, it turns out, a love story. One that was tested by hardship and one
that will now have a happy ending
Perfect for a store that's reopening on Valentines Day.