In all my bookstore explorations to date, I may have found a first with The Book Center in Cumberland, Maryland. In addition to a nice selection of books on the shelves, the shop doubles as a premier cigar and pipe tobacco retailer.
The more I thought about it, the more of a natural fit it seemed, conjuring images of Sherlock Holmes in his wingback chair, smoking a pipe and poring over a dusty old leatherbound volume.
The family-owned shop began more than 65 years ago as a magazine wholesaler and newsstand. Today, it carries a large selection of new and used books, gift cards, postcards, magazines, newspapers, and of course the cigars and tobacco.
Another unique aspect of the shop is its love of cats. While bookstore cats are a common phenomenon (the shop’s cat is Alice), they also work with local cat rescue groups and are an off-site adoption center for the county animal shelter.
Books, tobacco, and cats – it all combines to make The Book Center a unique and memorable bookshop experience.
The Book Center Cards and Gifts is located at 15 North Centre Street, Cumberland, Maryland. Open daily.