Experiencing Maine through its literature is as easy as picking up a book. Maine's independent bookstores, both new and used/antiquarian, usually have shelves, if not sections, dedicated to works by Maine writers.
Another way to enjoy Maine literature is to attend readings by contemporary Maine authors at libraries; plan a visit around the annual Maine Festival of the Book. Traveling with wee ones? Visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, which has an entire garden dedicated to Maine-related children's literature, or join a library story hour.
You can also experience the Pine Tree State through the eyes of its most famous writers by visiting the locations that may have inspired or been featured in their works. Here's a sampling:
• Stephen King: Take a "Tommyknockers and More" tour of the horror king's hometown.
• Richard Russo, Empire Falls: Places in both Waterville and Skowhegan appear in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
• Ernest Thompson: Board the Great Pond Mail Boat, plying the water's of the real On Golden Pond.
• Henry David Thoreau (The Maine Woods): Paddle the Allagash, tour Moosehead Lake aboardThe Kate, maybe even climb Katahdin
• Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: Maine's St. John Valley Acadian historical sites memorialize the heart-tugging poem..
• Edna St. Vincent Millay, Renaesance: Hike or drive up Camden's Mt. Battie to see the views that inspired the Pulitzer prize-winning poet.
• Kenneth Roberts, Arundel: Poke around the Kennebunks to experience some of the places mentioned by the Pulitzer-winning historical novelist.
• Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin: Stowe first heard the sermon that inspired the ground-breaking work at Brunswick's First Parish Church.
• Marguerite Yourcenar, French novelist: schedule a tour of the Northeast Harbor home of the first woman admitted to the Academie Francaise.
• Rachel Carson, Silent Spring: Visit the Nature Conservancy’s Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve in Edgecomb, which protects the area where she researched her 1955 book Edge of the Sea.
• Helen and Scott Nearing, Back to the Land: Tour or attend a Monday Night Meeting at Forest Farm, the Nearing's Cape Rosier homestead.
• Robert McClosky, One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, Blueberries for Sal: Rural Brooksville's blueberry barrens and village appear in McCloskey's stories.
• E.B. White, Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan: Mosey around Brooklin to see if you can spy the places that might have inspired these beloved children's books.
• Barbara Cooney, Miss Rumphius, Island Boy, Hattie and the Wild Waves: Loop around the Pemaquid Peninsula, home to lupine fields, island views, and crashing surf.
• Sarah Orne Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs: A fictionalized Tenant's Harbor is the book's setting, but for more on Jewett, visit her South Berwick home.
• Louise Dickinson Rich: We Took to the Woods, The Peninsula: Rich fans need to cast a line in the Rapid River in the Rangeley Lakes region, then dip a toe in the Atlantic on the Schoodic Peninsula.
• Elizabeth Ogilvie (High Tide at Noon, Storm Tide, The Ebbing Tide): Ferry from Rockland to the offshore islands to experience Ogilvie's Tide Trilogy.
• Ruth Moore (Spoonhandle, The Weir): The Tremont Historical Society Museum, in Mt. Desert Island, is a fine place to begin an immersion into Moore's world.