Best Used Bookstores in New England | Honorable Mentions
Saving the rural New England bookstore is more than a pastime for Richard F. Wright; it’s a passion that drives him to visit, patronize, and write about local independent bookshops selling used and rare volumes. Here are his ten honorable mentions.
To see his five favorite venues, visit Best Used Bookstores in New England.
Big Chicken Barn
The 150,000 used books at the Big Chicken Barn aren’t all priced at $3 each, but enough are that you can fill your basket to overflowing without resorting to a credit card. The shop has been operating for 26 years; the indoor plumbing has been operating for three years, so progress continues. 1768 Bucksport Road, Ellsworth, ME. 207-667-7308; bigchickenbarn.com
Carlson Turner Books
A true antiquarian bookshop and bindery, Carlson & Turner houses 40,000 volumes, ranging from the scholarly to more-general categories such as nautical, railroading, history, and travel. 241 Congress St., Portland, ME. 207-773-4200; carlsonturnerbooks.com
Bar Harbor Book Shop
Actually in Hulls Cove, down the road from Bar Harbor, this store used to be known as Mystery Cove Bookshop. A strong fiction collection is balanced by good history, biography, literature, classics, and local-interest collections. 1 Dewey St., Hulls Cove, ME. 207-288-4665; barharborbookshop.com
Whitlock Farm Booksellers
For more than 60 years, Whitlock’s Book Barn has provided rare and out-of-print works for the scholarly buyer. Its second building, however, offers used books for as little as $5, which makes this a destination shop for all book lovers. 20 Sperry Road, Bethany, CT. 203-393-1240; whitlocksbookbarn.com
The Traveler Book Cellar
The basement of a restaurant is an unusual place for a bookshop, but the well-labeled aisles, a helpful wall chart mapping the shelving plan, and the ridiculously low prices for thousands of used volumes all make The Traveler a great source of bargains. Upstairs the folks there give away books with the meals, so that’s an added bonus. 1257 Buckley Highway, Union, CT. 860-684-4920
A turn-of-the-century barn is home to Vintage Books, which has been operating at this location for 24 years. Well-lighted and well-organized aisles make browsing among the 30,000 volumes a pleasure, and fair pricing makes the selection of rare and unusual volumes a delight. 181 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton, MA. 508-435-3499; vintagebooks1.com