The What

The Owl & Turtle Bookshop is a small, independent bookshop in Camden, Maine. We’ve been operating continuously for more than 46 years. We have a long tradition of stocking hard-to-find marine titles and essential nautical charts, and a wide selection of books steeped in Maine and New England themes. Complemented by a wide array of genres, Indie Next List picks, new releases, bestsellers, and obscure titles, we have something for everyone and offer a welcoming space for readers of all ages.

In Spring 2014, we added a cafe space on the first floor of the bookshop, featuring locally-roasted Coffee on the Porch coffee beans in our espresso, french press, and pour over services.

The Why

First, the obvious: we love books. We love them in all forms — hardcover, paperback,  you name it. And we know you love books too. We believe the most important service provided by a bookseller is the presentation of a thoughtfully-curated selection of books, tailored to the likes and interests of its loyal customers, and punctuated by titles that expand the reader’s boundaries of understanding and knowledge. We have a small staff that prides itself in knowing what you want to read, and we go out of our way to suggest and obtain those titles for you.

Now, the not-so-obvious: it’s all tangled up in this “fiercely indie, truly local” thing. Those aren’t just words in a hipster, cargo-culture phrase; it’s our four-word manifesto.

As an Independent bookshop, we reject the mega-corporate stranglehold that permeates — both physically and digitally — our daily lives, and blunts the potential for genuine, mutually-beneficial interaction between individuals in a community. We hold steadfast to the ideal that a passion for our product, a predilection for our customer’s interests, and a dedication to our store’s purpose translates to a more personal service, and is of greater value to a book buyer than the prefabricated, Pavlovian comfort of a Big Bookstore or a brand name website. Don’t get us wrong — we don’t denounce the service provided by Big Bookstores that have a focus on profit margins and monetary gain; we just think we sell books better.

At O&T, we are fervent believers in supporting other Independents and cultivating community. We promote local authors, artists, and artisans in any way we can. We host poetry readings, author readings and signings, book release events, an Owl and Turtle Writers Group, as well as various crafter and maker events. We feature locally-roasted coffee, locally-blended teas, and locally-made baked goods in our cafe. We are proud to be connected by the convictions that make us all different, and united by a collective stake in our locale. Isn’t that what a community is all about?

Fiercely indie. Truly local.

The Who

Owl & Turtle is owned and operated by Craig and Maggie White. Stop by the shop anytime, and it’s a safe bet you’ll find one or both of us stocking books or pulling espresso. We hope to see you soon. Cheers!