The Belfast Bound Book Festival is back Saturday, May 7, thanks to popular demand … fueled, in part, by the small city’s several downtown bookshops and other businesses that also place a premium on the printed — and bound — word.

The festival debuted in 2011, organized by Nanette H. Gionfriddo out of her Beyond the Sea shop of art, books and more. In 2011 and in 2012, the fest was a three-day, multi-venue affair. Gionfriddo moved her shop a couple towns south in 2013 and, since 2014, has hosted a one-day Beyond the Sea Book Festival; this year’s is set for July 30.

“When she relocated the shop to Lincolnville Beach, we decided to not continue the festival for the time being,” said Our Town Belfast Executive Director Breanna Pinkham Bebb earlier this spring. “But the community spoke up in favor of bringing it back and we are excited to be doing so.”

The rebooted Belfast Bound Book Festival will spread its events a bit beyond the downtown shops and library to include Waterfall Arts, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center and a couple of outdoor locations, weather permitting. The day-long event is a program of Our Town Belfast in partnership with the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce and Belfast Free Library.

Someone who has been part of both local book fests is Abraham A. Schechter, archivist of Portland Public Library. He has been attending the monthly meetings at Our Town Belfast and credits the chamber's Karen Brezsnyak and Belfast Free Library's active role in organizing the return of Belfast Bound.

“I'm very, very happy and thankful the Belfast Bound Book Festival is back on the rails … and I just love that we're all talking about next year already,” he said the last week of April.

Schechter wrote the book on book repair — literally — and has been teaching book conservation to other librarians and archivists for 17 years. He will demonstrate restoration techniques and answer questions about methods and materials while conserving broken books for, and at, Belfast Free Library from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He said he thinks literacy and learning are at the heart of the librarian's mission.

“Conservation of the written word — in books — keeps these beautiful objects and their contents alive … I encourage stewards of library collections to save what they determine is worth saving, and to use materials that contribute to their permanence,” he said.

One reason he performs the kind of book clinic he will run at the festival is because Schechter likes to demonstrate the ease and cost-effectiveness of doing the work in the library, as opposed to “sending it out.”

“By learning the basic practices, using conservation-grade materials, the practitioner can preserve as much of the original object as possible — with a great sense of ‘ownership’ and appreciation for the craft,” he said.

Schechter’s book, “Basic Book Repair Methods,” will be among the many available, new and used, during the Belfast Bound Book Festival. A new festival site this year is Waterfall Arts, which will hold a used book sale throughout the day, as well as hosting hands-on book arts workshops (see link below). The arts center also will host Maine author Elizabeth Peavey’s free 11 a.m. talk titled The Best Truth: Honesty vs. Truth in Memoir in the dance annex, followed by an afternoon memoir workshop (pre-registration required; call 338-3884).

Downtown will have a bibliocentric vibe beginning at 10 a.m. with a children’s story time at the traffic light corner. The Rockland-based Maine Authors Publishing will have a book tent downtown and a number of shops will have book-related events; see the stories linked below. Even Rollie’s Bar and Grill will jump on the Belfast Bound train, hosting “old cops” and storytellers John Ford Sr. and Mark Nickerson at 11 a.m.

After Schechter wraps up his rescue efforts, Belfast Free Library will host a reception for “Book ReNewal,” a May show of artists' books, letterpress, hand-lettered and sculptural work by Midcoast book artists in the lobby. The show features Beth Henderson, Jan Owen, Abbie Read, Richard Reitz Smith, Karin Spitfire and Sandy Weisman, many of whom will be on hand during the 2 to 4 p.m. reception.

Also beginning at 2 p.m., and continuing to 5 p.m., is something bound to get the city chattering — or clattering. Tom Furrier, owner of Cambridge Typewriter Co. Inc. in Arlington, Mass., will preside over the city’s first Type-in, taking place in front of the Belfast Co-op (weather permitting; otherwise inside). Furrier’s business is the last typewriter-only store in eastern New England and he is fervent about selling and repairing manual machines. He will bring about a dozen vintage typewriters from his own collection and encourages the public to bring theirs out into the fresh air and down to the Co-op for the afternoon.

Furrier is a friend of Schecter’s and has held similar events at Portland Public Library but has never been to Belfast, so he is looking forward to the fest and exploring the area. And how does a forestry major end up being the region’s last oasis of mechanical wordsmithing?

“I got into it by accident, 36 years ago. But I always liked working with my hands,” Furrier said a week before heading north.

He had grown up with the shop’s original owner’s son, who thought his friend might be a good fit for the work.

“I said I’d try it for a week, but by the end of the first day, I knew that this is it,” Furrier said. “Up until 15 years ago, it was business machines. When it became ‘vintage,’ it became a lot more fun, because young people got into it at that point,” he said.

Those “hooked on analog” fans can feel a little isolated, he added; “family and friends tease them so much” about their enthusiasm for carriage release levers and ribbon spools. So a bring-your-own typewriter event can really shake things up.

“Half of the fun of the Type-ins is that people get to know other people like them,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to getting to know Belfast.

For the updated schedule of the Belfast Bound Book Festival, visit or the festival’s Facebook page.