While I have nothing against technology and have read many books on my iPad, I yearn for books as they were. Fat, thin, short, tall, musty, moldy and the highly coveted, fresh-off-the-press. Nowadays, all books look the same. They are skinny, shiny, and they come in one size – tablet. Sigh. While I have all but given in to the convenience and economy of e-books, I draw the line at children’s books. My nine-month-old baby has long been introduced to the joys of turning the thick pages of a board book, and I am always on the lookout for the next best thing in the world of dancing polar bears and mischievous cats.
As I have mentioned earlier, on day one of our trip to Maine, I found a little book store, called the Reading Corner in downtown Rockland. What drew me to the shop was a fierce-looking pirate brandishing a sword on the cover of one of the children’s books at the display window and well, a love for book shops, in all shapes and sizes. As I often do these days, I made a beeline for the kid’s nook upon entering the store. Propped against brick walls and wooden shelves were many, many books – including all the usual ones like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Good Night Moon, On The Night You Were Born and most of the works of Dr. Seuss. Part of the corner was dedicated to the home state, with simple titles like Little Maine and My Maine, and inside were reddish-pink lobsters and a big-eyed Moose or two, with plenty of fodder for young minds.
As for the rest of it, I could go on and on about how lovely and old-world the place is, but instead I will just say that this is a shop which neatly lays out a plate of star-shaped cookies and a big jug of iced tea for you, something to keep you going while you browse. And if I were to live in such a town in midcoast Maine, this is the kind of place you would probably find me on a rainy afternoon…poking around, turning the books over to read the blurbs, and being very, very happy.