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If you find yourself reading or shopping for books in a boxcar in Thorndike, you’re on the right track

Where's a better place to read than on a train? Boxcar Books in Thorndike opens to the public only on Saturdays and Sundays.

THORNDIKE, Maine — You would probably never imagine that in the middle of a small rural town of Waldo county, you'd find a rare bookstore.

The unique bookstore in the heart of Thorndike has a great variety of used titles for sale. Hundreds of titles can be found at Boxcar Books, which is located inside a railroad boxcar!

The small and cozy bookstore is run by Link Harjung and his wife Sofia.

Harjung opened the one and only bookstore in town, in an effort to share their passion for reading with others. The boxcar came to Maine in the early 90's all the way from Sweden. Harjung says he thinks back in the day it carried dry goods and construction materials.

Two years ago, Harjung bought it and re-purposed it into a bookstore. Inside, people can find a little bit of everything, including fiction, non-fiction, history, mystery, sci-fi, poetry books, and a lot more!

"I've always wanted to have a bookstore but I'd be priced out of any brick and mortar space, so this is really low overhead and it allows me to keep it open in a town that otherwise probably wouldn't support a bookstore," said Harjung.

"I've always been a big reader!" said Harjung. "So the opportunity to curate my own small space is really a dream come true!"

Harjung says it all started with a pile of great used books he bought from the previous owner of the boxcar. The owner used the boxcar for storage purposes, and Herjoung knew he could give it another life.

"I enjoy distributing some really special books knowing that they will hopefully stay with people for the rest of their lives," he said.

Credit: NCM



Harjung says his collection has something for everyone. He only opened weekends because he has other weekday jobs in the farming and wood industries.

Sunday afternoon, Lauren Timken from Bangor found a variety of books to take home.

"I'm an English teacher and we have granddaughters, so we got some books for the babies, books for the students, and books for us!" said Timken.

"The titles here are astonishing!" said customer David Keenan.

Harjung says he and his wife will continue to buy books that would interest Mainers to keep the bookstore running for many years to come. 

"This is something that I'm just not prepared to let go of, and I've got to keep on painting it, keep on buying books, and improving it!" he said.

To visit the bookstore, people can only visit the quirky bookstore on weekends. It opens on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here if you would like to learn more about Boxcar Books.

Credit: NCM