Andover bookstore hopes to attract AT hikers at new site

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ANDOVER — Ellis River Books has moved to 12 South Main St. in hopes of attracting Appalachian Trail hikers, among others, co-owner Denise Moriba said.

“We’re trying to get a feel for what hikers are looking for when they come into town,” she said, “so we have different kinds of fuel and hiking sticks and little things they might use for repairs.”

Besides food, shoelaces and duct tape, hikers and others can get books, cards, handcrafted wooden spoons, soaps and jewelry. The most popular books are those about Maine and New England, and those by Maine authors. All of the artwork on the walls and shelves is by local artisans.

Moriba and her husband, Jake Pitcher, moved the bookstore from their property in town to the little red building on South Main Street on Memorial Day weekend. They said they hope it will serve as a place for community gatherings.

A group of artists from Rumford plans to use it for meetings, and a writing group also plans to meet there. There is an acoustic guitar by the door for people to play.

The store also has used games for people to play.

“I really am hoping this will be a space where people will come and find entertainment that’s unplugged,” Moriba said.

Moriba said she hopes more businesses will open along Main Street, “because I think if (we) had a few more businesses in town it would really draw people in.”

Moriba and her husband are Maine natives who have lived all over the world, but recently decided to settle with their 14-month-old son in Andover following a visit with friends in the area. She was interested in opening a bookstore.

“There are bookstores in Oxford and Norway, but there’s nothing closer (to Andover),” Moriba said. “There’s nothing really in Bethel and Rumford.”

Ellis River Books is open Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Denise Moriba and her husband, Jake Pitcher, moved their bookstore, Ellis River Books, to 12 South Main St. in Andover this spring. They hope to attract Appalachian Trail hikers and others interested in books, food, soaps, jewelry, artwork and handcrafts. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

Denise Moriba stands in the back room of her bookstore, Ellis River Books, on South Main Street in Andover. She owns the store with her husband, Jake Pitcher. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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