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Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    Nicholas Sichterman waters begonias on the porch of Blue Hill Books in Blue Hill. Sichterman and his wife, Mariah Hughs, sold the bookstore to Samantha Haskell in February and asked the community to support Haskell and the bookstore through a program in which customers pay up front for books they will purchase throughout the year.

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    Peter Neill walks into Blue Hill Books. He and his wife, Mary Barnes, helped to finance the purchase of the bookstore by Samantha Haskell. “It seemed like the obvious thing to do,” Neill said. “If you’re really going to invest in the sustainability of a community, this was the best possible thing we could do with the best possible outcome. This is not charity. This is an investment in our community.”

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    Samantha Haskell places a book order while customer Steve Davies peruses the shelves at Blue Hill Books on June 19. Haskell bought the bookstore in February from Mariah Hughs and Nicholas Sichterman, who asked the Blue Hill community to help by purchasing shares in the store to help Haskell though the lean winter months. Community members responded and the concept led to a story about the bookstore in the New Yorker.

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    Blue Hill Books has a program in which people pay up front for books they will buy throughout the year. The system enables the bookstore to operate during the lean winter months.

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    Customer Steve Davies peruses the selection at Blue Hill Books on June 19. All of the shelves in the community bookstore were built specifically for the space by former owner Nicholas Sichterman.

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    Blue Hill Books has an innovative business model - Staff photo by Gregory Rec | of | Share this photo

    On the porch of Blue Hill Books, Peter Neill, Samantha Haskell, Mariah Hughs and Nicholas Sichterman, left to right, greet a passer-by. Haskell bought the bookstore from Hughs and Sichterman in February with financial help from Neill and his wife. “One of the reasons we moved to Maine was the quality of life,” said Neill. “And part of our quality of life here is having an engaged intellectual community. A real good library and a real good bookstore are equally important, and we are lucky to have both here in Blue Hill."

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