NEWS UPDATE: Cod End has been sold to Linda Bean (I’m pretty sure) and may re-open for dockside eating (not as sure) sometime, under some name. No sailboats have sailed into the harbor yet, so I don’t know about other services.
But FOR SURE, Roseledge Books is open, alive and well. I know this because I have hung the OPEN 2-6 sign from the porch bench and some of you have walked by and bought books. Treasures, every one. (Tricky grammar.)
Walkers-By remain the most likely customers, especially Boater-Walkers-By. They have dinghies to get to shore, but no car to get anywhere else. The RB sign on the tree at the corner is key, but boaters have to get to Sea Street to see it. ( I’m checking into a “postcard sign” in the glass-fronted case at the public landing.) So it was that the summer’s first group of moored boaters found RB and came in, happy to test and rest wobbley legs after sailing into the breeze-challenged harbor. They browsed through past, present and possible book club choices to get a feel for the bookstore or bookseller, asked for directions to the nearest ice cream cones, and were VERY pleased with paperbacks only. Lightness of being can be a plus.
Some books sold with the reason RB has them which may not — is probably not — the reason the buyer bought them: Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (set in Maine); Sixth Man by David Baldacci (set partly in Maine, as told by people from away); Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew Crawford (reminds me of Mainers); And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman (a mind and hand that sees, makes sense and enjoys a raveled world; I love Maira Kalman — and it’s my bookstore.)
Renter-Walkers-By are the other group of potential buyers, especially those who come to Maine to get away from cars and most people. They stroll by and I sit on the porch and shout greetings. With any encouragement at all, I give numerous shout-outs to books they may not be able to do without. I have no shame. Sometimes it works. I think I “had” one couple after a great back-and-forth about “happy” books, but they were on their way away as soon as they made it back up the hill. “Next time,” I’m sure they said.
And RB will be ready with thoughtful suggestions, e.g. The Tree by John Fowles ; A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr; Coaster Days: Shipping in the Town of St. George by Roy Meservey; and So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson.
In addition to the harbor-moored boaters and Barters-Point-Road-cottage renters, there are the Ladies Who Walk, neighbors who gather numbers as they enjoy a daily constitutional, the dog tenders who dawdle with their (one hopes) non-doodling dogs on the grass across the road, and the post office and General Store frequenters who come by without, then with, their mail, coffee, morning paper. There is no place in the world I would rather be.
Native strawberries are in, and if ever you’ve eaten them, you know they are so good that no berries from away will ever again satisfy. The rosa rugosa are stunning and wow! do they smell. In this profusion their smell rivals that of lilies or lilacs and may be the reason for some very large sneezes. First tent party of the season whooped it up on the East Wind Inn lawn, which is good news. The tent-floor suggested dancing, as did the thumping beat, but the wind was up and blowing away, so with the added tent-sides, the sound was muted. Night music from tents and boats is good, usually ends early and carries on the air in mysterious ways. Guitars and trumpets are the best and the bagpipes might have been okay with a better piper. A neighbor boat shouted “Get the hook!” to some cheers, but no avail.
I love walkers-by, harbor life, and Roseledge Books’ Visitors. Here’s to a whole lot of each this summer.