Bowdoinham organizes children’s book brigade to set up second-hand bookshop

Elementary school children in Bowdoinham will form a book squad to help Bowdoinham Public Library set up its new used bookstore, Merryreading Books, from 1:30pm to 2:30pm on Wednesday, September 28.

The children will pass on donated books from their current storage location in the FHC building on Bowdoinham waterfront, Main Street to the new location in Merrymeeting Hall. The owners of Merrymeeting Hall, the Bowdoinham Historical Society, have offered a newly renovated ground floor space for the new store.

“Having a retail space to display and sell our donated books will give a big boost to our fundraising efforts,” said Kate Cutko, Bowdoinham library director. “We have always raised a significant portion of our budget through our own fundraising efforts, and the new Merryreading Books will provide us with a continuous source of funds.”

The store is expected to open in November.

Like many small, rural libraries in Maine, the Bowdoinham Public Library is much larger than the physical location where all the books are on shelves. It takes an active role in the community through children’s storytelling, storytelling walks on local trails, lectures on topics such as solar energy and community anti-Semitism, current book displays on topics such as Native American history, and free book offers during the Farmer’s Market in the summer. Other fundraising activities include an annual plant sale, craft sales of items made from books, a wreath-making workshop, and many past book sales.

This month’s event is a reenactment of a 1984 children’s book brigade, which moved 900 books from the library’s high street location to its current home in Coombs’ municipal building. Many current residents remember their participation in this event when they were schoolchildren.

“We are very grateful to all our friends who have donated books for our book sale and the Bowdoinham Historical Society for providing our new space,” Cutko said.

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