In 2009, I wrote an article about one of my favorite small businesses, Longfellow Books. During our recent blizzard, the business sustained significant water damage when I second floor window above the store blew in, filling the upstairs with snow and causing pipes to freeze and then burst.
Portland's Fire Department did a great job of trying to save as many books as possible, putting tarps over bookshelves and carrying books outside. Longfellow Books has been a very prominent presence in Portland and has supported the community in myriad ways, so it's only right that the city should take care of them.
Many of the loyal customers and authors whose books have been promoted by Longfellow immediately reached out to offer assistance. Joshua Bodwell of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance took the lead in setting up support and fundraising events to help this fixture of our community stay healthy and prosperous. See how you can help HERE.
This outpouring of support is a testament to this great local business. It's not just that they're one of the few independent bookstores left. It's not just because they sell things we like. It's because they have actively engaged their community of readers, writers, and publishers and treat them all (and their staff) like each one of us matters. Loyalty is something that is shared. You can't receive it if you don't give it. This situation shows just how much loyalty Longfellow Books and its owners, Chris Bowe and Stuart Gersen, have shared.