THE MAINE BOOKHOUSE
Our first stop on the way was The Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, Maine. The owner, Harry, was about to close up shop, so to avoid wasting his time, I simply inquired as to what Tolkien items he had. He immediately remembered me and began searching behind his desk for me while I browsed the usual section, and when I came back, he had pulled out The Lord of the Rings on audio cassette. He mentioned the possibility of having more tucked away somewhere, and that he would try to dig them out for me if we came by later.
THE LOCAL BOOKIE
[You can find The Local BOOKie on Facebook]
FOOD FOR THOUGHT/DRAGON'S LAIR COMICS/ROUTE 26 ANTIQUES
Our last shopping spree was in Norway, Maine, just down the street from Oxford. Harry had told me before that The Maine Bookhouse had opened up a sister store, Food For Thought, and we finally had a chance to check it out. I asked the woman (whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, but she was wonderful!) if she knew of any Tolkien items, and she pulled out a few items I already had... but then she showed me Lin Carter's A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings in a different version than what I had and a different version of The Hobbit (1977) soundtrack on vinyl that I obviously couldn't turn down!
Down the street was Dragon's Lair comic shop, where I picked up The Hobbit Monopoly. Then we made our way back to The Maine Bookhouse. Harry wasn't there, but the woman who was, Jolene, pulled out two items he had set aside for me: The Hobbit on audio cassette and The Tale of Beren and Lúthien on vinyl, read by Christopher Tolkien.
Our final stop was Route 26 Antiques, where I scored well on books last year. This year I found none, but I managed to get three action figures (Twilight Frodo, Frodo in the Barrow-Downs, and a Haradrim Warrior). As we were leaving, my boyfriend spotted two Balrog figures – a bust from Gentle Giant and a polystone statue from Sideshow Collectibles – both at extremely reasonable prices. He ended up grabbing those as my big anniversary gift.
Overall, it was an extremely fruitful trip. We did a lot of other fun things as well, but this was definitely a highlight. I'd also like to give a huge shout-out to my boyfriend, not only for putting up with me and my Tolkien obsession for eight years, but for going out of his way to actively support and encourage my collecting habit the way he does is really special.