Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine, which has been closed since it suffered severe water damage when a frozen water line burst on Saturday, will reopen this evening for a long-planned Valentine’s Day benefit to support Pussy Riot rock band, according to bookseller Jack Marie. Thanks to firefighters who managed to salvage much of the store’s inventory, contractors who put in drywall and ceiling tiles, and local businesses that have been feeding workers, the store will have its first full day on Friday morning—albeit with a lot less stock.
To assist in the efforts to rebuild the store’s inventory and physical space, owners Stuart Gerson and Chris Bowe are selling “limited edition” gift certificates from The Great Flood of 2013 on the store’s Web site. Customers are also encouraged to order online. In addition, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance is raising money for the bookstore through a cash mob on Saturday March 2 from 9am to 6pm. And it is holding an event on Sunday March 3, Flooded: An Outpouring of Literary Conversation in Support of Longfellow. There will be two conversations: one on memoir with Richard Russo and Monica Wood, moderated by Moira Driscoll, and one on fiction with Ron Currie Jr. and Bill Roorbach, moderated by Brock Clarke. MWPA is also collecting non-deductible donations through March 15 for Longfellow.