Fred Powell has owned and operated Main Street Books in Frostburg, Maryland, for more than 30 years. So what keeps him going after so long?
“I can’t find anybody else to take it over,” he says with a laugh. But he’s only kidding. It’s a passion for books that has kept Main Street Books a thriving part of Frostburg’s downtown district since 1989.
That’s not to mention a consistent willingness to grow the business and enduring community support.
“It sounds overused, but really the books are often secondary,” he says. “It’s the community, the people. It amazes me how supportive this community can be.”
That includes supporting Fred’s expansion to a storefront twice the size of his original location after his first decade in business. Main Street Books now boasts 3,000 square feet of retail space and typically offers events such as a book club and author signings. While those things paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re slowly returning.
According to Facebook, the shop carries more than 20,000 titles in 45 categories. After visiting, I can attest to its impressive inventory. The large space is well organized with creative displays and special touches. The display devoted to books about bookshops was a particular favorite. Meanwhile, its eye-catching exterior and creative window displays are added bonuses to lure in shoppers.
While it’s all about the books, there are some interesting sidelines as well, like toys, cards, buttons, and music. And remember to look up while you’re browsing. The tops of the shelves and along the walls you’ll find unique and interesting décor, like vintage typewriters, photographs, and posters.
Main Street Books is located at 2 East Main Street, Frostburg, Maryland. Open daily.