Goodbye to the Bookstall: Thank you Doris and Jack Ludes

Jun 19, 2018

To the Editor:

After more than 60 years, The Bookstall in the center of Marion village is closing its doors.  The Sippican Historical Society would like to thank Doris and Jack Ludes for owning and running The Bookstall for the past 8 years.  We are not the only ones who will miss this historical Marion institution, and we want to thank the Ludeses for all that they have done for the Town of Marion.

Cecilia Plumb started the Bookstall in 1960 in a small building at 134 Front Street.   She ran it at that location for three years, then sold the business to Patricia Converse McDonald, who moved it to its present location at 151 Front Street.  McDonald owned the Bookstall from 1963 – 1978.  According to her son, Peter McDonald, his mother used to review galleys for publishers to give her opinion before a book was published.  One of the galleys she reviewed favorably was the 1977 best-selling novel, The Thorn Birds, by Australian writer Colleen McCullough.

The next owner of the Bookstall was Lorna Eames, who owned it from 1978 – 1983.  She sold it to Michael and Carol Cudahy, who ran it for the next three years.  In 1986, Joyce and Bruce West bought The Bookstall and owned it for six years, before selling it to Sally Hunsdorfer in 1992.  Hunsdorfer ran The Bookstall for 13 years, and added a coffee café in the side room.  In 2005 Mimi Putnam bought the Bookstall and ran it for five years before selling it to Doris and Jack Ludes in 2010.  As many of you know, the book business has changed dramatically during the age of Amazon and Kindles.

I frequently purchase out of print Marion historical books on a website called American Book Exchange.  Recently, I purchased a used copy of The School and the Sea:  A History of Tabor Academy by Joseph J. Smart written in 1964.  It arrived from a used bookseller in Indiana, and when I opened the front page, there was a small sticker in the bottom left-hand corner that read “The Bookstall, Marion, Massachusetts.”

Judy Rosbe,

Sippican Historical Society