Longfellow Books Reopens With Broad Based Support; “This Has Been a Humbling Experience,” Bowe

Pultizer Prize winning author, Richard Russo with Chris Bowe, co-owner of Longfellow Books.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,297)

Earlier this evening, Longfellow Books reopened after having been closed for three days this week due to water damage suffered as a result of the weekend blizzard. Store staff and   about 100 volunteers worked relentlessly for the past few days to dry books, dry carpets, and  reshelve books in preparation for tonight’s opening at 5:00 pm. 

Welcoming his many guests, co-owner Chris Bowe said:  “My load was hard enough without this, but it makes you realize what’s important.  I’m humbled.  It’s taught me to shut up and be still and accept the gifts people have given me.   My wallet is rusty because I haven’t opened it this week – people have donated so much.”  He continued, “Despite all the work I’ve done these past few days, I think I’ve put on weight because of all the fantastic food that has been donated.  Thank you to all who have donated.”  Bowe also said that Tee-Shirts honoring the work of firefighters in saving much of his stock  are being created by Rogues Gallery.

Meanwhile, long lines had begun to form of people buying two and three books at a time; one of the best ways to help a local business stay in business.  Suszanne Gagnon, said:  “The reopening of Longfellow’s means everything to me.   Reading is part of my life source.  I don’t have a lot of money, but I try to support Longfellow’s.”  Pullitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo was also in line the long line purchasing books as was popular writer Monica Woods.

Another celebrity came and bought a Valentine’s Card for his wife.  Mayor Michael Brennan came to the reopening celebration to offer his congratulations and offer any short-term financial assistance the city might offer.  (I misplaced my notes so this is from memory!) Mayor Brennan said Longfellow Books is a vital business in the downtown area and it’s essential to keep an independent book store in this location.

The restoration of Longfellow Book’s is expected to be completed in early March according to Cowe.

For background information, please visit Post # 1,295, dated 2/11/13 herein.