The Portland Press Herald

Friday, Jan 05, 2018

Biddeford bookstore specializing in food and drink will focus solely on the rare

by Meredith Goad

Rabelais, the rare books store in Biddeford, will stop selling new and recent used books and materials and will be open by appointment only in 2018. 

Rabelais, an antiquarian book store in Biddeford that specializes in food and drink, has stopped selling new books and more recent used materials, and is now open by appointment only.

Don Lindgren, proprietor of the store, which is located in the North Dam Mill at 2 Main St., said that he has decided to focus solely on rare materials – a direction the business had been moving in since relocating from Portland to Biddeford six years ago.

“It was the main reason we moved, was to be able to handle bigger collections of rare material,” Lindgren said. “We knew when we moved that we were going to be moving away from most of our walk-in customers. But since we’ve moved, we’ve seen a decline in walk-ins and a decline in the sales of new books, so it’s really not worth it for me to invest the money and the effort that goes into carrying the new books every season. We had the same feeling in the summer, when our new book sales were significantly down.”

The 4,000-square-foot store holds more than 30,000 items, including rare cookbooks, some of which date back to the 1530s. The book shop attracts chefs, food writers, and others who are serious about food and drink, from all around the world.