Since 1970 the Owl & Turtle Bookshop has been an integral part of coastal Camden’s vibrant downtown, serving the community as a quality independent bookstore, friendly gathering spot, and—more recently—cozy neighborhood café. The well-curated book collection includes an ever-evolving stock of fiction and non-fiction, an extensive children’s section, and plenty of cookbooks. Offerings of poetry, memoir, and marine books are forever expanding along with the always popular Maine-centric selections. In the café you’ll find locally-roasted beans from Coffee on the Porch and sweet and savory treats from area bakers. The shop is a welcoming place to browse and be—whether you choose to bury your nose in a book, beverage, or both.
Bill and Rebecca Gene Conrad opened the Owl & Turtle as a bookshop motel in 1970, naming the store for two nearby Maine locales: Owl’s Head and Turtle’s Head. In its original spot at 8 Bay View Street (a former refrigerator showroom), the Conrad’s three story book haven quickly established itself as the place to go in Camden—whether to shop for reading or reference material, enjoy a quiet respite, gather with friends, or convene with other community members for a book signing by such esteemed persons as Walter Cronkite and David McCullough. Through several owners (and a few different in-town locations), this unique bookshop’s place in the community has remained steadfast. Now back on Bay View Street, the Owl & Turtle evokes memories of the past while also exemplifying the best of what an independent bookstore can be today.