The Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce honored the work of the Skidompha Second Hand Bookshop on Saturday, March 25. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the shop’s new home at 17 Backstreet Landing, chamber members congratulated the volunteers who have kept the shop a vibrant part of the community for almost 50 years.
“This is a fantastic spot and it is gorgeous inside,” said Cindy Wade, president of the chamber’s board of directors. “I can’t say enough about the volunteer work that goes into this. I am extremely excited for you and proud of your work.”
In December, the Skidompha Second Hand Bookshop moved from its former location on Elm Street to the building formerly home to Backstreet Landing, behind Elm Street Plaza. The doors officially opened at the new location Feb. 1.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday was accompanied by a half-price sale “to show appreciation to the community for all that they’ve done to make this happen,” said shop volunteer and co-manager Rem Briggs.
In addition to “magnificent” views of the Damariscotta River, the new home for the bookshop has nearly twice the floor space of the previous location, Briggs said. The additional space has not only allowed for sitting areas to enjoy the view, but has also allowed the shop to expand its book collection by 30-40 percent.
All proceeds from the shop support programming and general operations at the Skidompha Library, Briggs said. Last year, the shop was able to raise about $75,000 for the library. This year, the shop is hoping to raise $100,000.
Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Gallagher congratulated the volunteers whose work has kept the bookshop running. “I love this place,” Gallagher said.
Bookshop volunteer and co-manager Rosie Bensen said the volunteers are grateful for the shop’s new home. “We’re still doing what we did, but it’s so peaceful here,” Bensen said.
As customers flocked in and out of the store Saturday, many leaving with an armful of books, Bensen said the word that kept circling through her head was gratitude. “I keep saying gratitude, because that’s what I feel,” she said. “The community has helped so much.”
The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, except for Thursdays, when it will stay open until 7 p.m. For more information, call 563-7807 or go to skidompha.org.