Dogtown Books is a locally owned, independent, used bookstore serving Gloucester since 1997. Our Mission is to be the best destination for Gloucester’s local and visiting readers, writers and creatives, and to connect people with the books that they will love. 

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August 2019: News & Events

Monthly Sale: 20% OFF all Nautical books, photos, & ephemera….all month long! And boy howdy do we have a lot of nautical things at Dogtown Books! Come see us before you set sail.

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4th Friday Open Mic with Helen Garland: Aug 23

On Friday, August 23rd we are beyond thrilled to welcome Helen Garland to Dogtown Books. Helen is the Chair of The Earth Society Foundation of The United Nations, and wife of the late Joe Garland, who became Gloucester's most notable and celebrated historian.

After we talk with Helen, we will host a community open mic! Take the stage with your own poetry, prose, music, comedy or whatever you want to do!

6-8:30pm; FREE

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Bayliss by Salt and Sun

DogMa presents its highly anticipated second event, “Bayliss by Salt and Sun,” an interdisciplinary celebration of the work of writer, philosopher, and Gloucester legend Jonathan Bayliss. A creative collaboration between Dogtown Books and MAGMA, this event features local writers and leaders who will share performative readings of Bayliss’ most breathtaking works, in combination with the creative possibilities of visual art and live music.

Saturday Aug 24; doors 6:30 PM, show 7:00pm
at Magma, 11 Pleasant St., Suite 64

Gloucester, MA 01930
Get your tickets in advance to be sure you have a seat! Tickets available here.

JULY 2019: News & Events

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4th Fridays Open Mic ft. Kassi Underwood

Kassi Underwood is the feature for this month's 4th Fridays open mic event (July 26th at 6pm). Kassi is a local author who has written a very important and moving book, entitled May Cause Love, about enlightenment after abortion. Kassi is not only a delightful and kind Gloucester community member, and a celebrated author, she's also a no bullshit spiritual teacher, the first-ever resident Meditation Advisor at Harvard Innovation Lab, and she's been featured in The New York Times, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, and New York Magazine. This is truly a not to be missed event! Please join us on Friday, July 26th at 6pm for Kassi's reading, followed by a community open mic during which you are invited to share your own creative work!

July Sale: 20% off Ephemera!

To celebrate our nation's independence (who needs a reason to celebrate, really?) we are having a 20% off sale on all ephemera in the store. Vintage playbills, maps, flyers, photographs, magazines, autographs, and more, from this century and the last. Get some great, local Cape Ann finds while they last. Come dig through the crates. We have also curated a special, hand-picked selection in the front of the store for your browsing pleasure.

JUNE 2019: News & Events

Happy pride month! To celebrate, we are having a 20% off sale on all of our LGBTQ+ books. Find works by Auden, James Baldwin, Anais Nin, Capote, Susan Sontag, Audre Lorde, Colette, T.S. Eliot, Kerouac, Proust and more on sale all month. (And just for the record, it's kinda pride month all year long at Dogtown.) We also have 3 wonderful events coming up this month, poetry slams in the works, and all sorts of other surprises!


June 15: DogMa

On Saturday, June 15th we will be launching the first in a series of events co-produced with MAGMA Gloucester. We are clever, so we named the series DogMA. Join us for this inaugural multi-media event featuring dance, liquid light projections and a reading of In the Valley of Flowers by Gloucester poet Casey Buckles; the whole event happens in MAGMA's fantastic ballroom! Doors at 7pm; tickets available online or at the door.


June 22: Salty Tales of Gloucester’s Pirate Past!

On Saturday, June 22nd Dogtown Books will host local author and historian James Masciarelli (author of Beyond Beauport) for a talk about Gloucester pirates and sea-faring women of the last century. And stick around after the talk for Gloucester trivia with great prizes!


June 28: 4th Fridays Open Mic

We are proud to announce Jon Waterman as this month's 4th Fridays feature. June's event will take place on Friday the 28th at 6:00pm. Following Jon's set, take the stage with your own poetry, prose, music, comedy or whatever you set your mind to. FREE admission; suggested donation of $3.

MAY 2019: News & Events

All biographies are 20% off all month!

4th Friday Open Mic: Friday, May 24, 6-8:30pm

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April 2019: News & Events

Extended Spring Hours: Come visit us Wednesday through Monday: 11am-6pm
Closed Tuesdays only

In April, all Gardening & Cookbooks are 20% off!

4th Fridays Open Mic: April 26th, 6-8:30pm, ft. Cam Vulture. Come to listen, share a performance, make new friends…or sit quietly in the back with your hood up.

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Introducing Dogtown Books 4th Fridays Open Mic! It all begins on

March 22!

What: an open mic, featuring writer Fox Welsh
When: Friday March 22, 6-8:30pm
Where: Here at the store, 132 Main St. in Gloucester
How much: Free! (Suggested donation $5)
Info: 6pm doors & open mic sign-up
6:15pm: Reading & Talk with Fox Welsh
7-8:30pm: Community open mic

Fox Welsh joins the Dogtown Books 4th Friday Open Mic series on March 22 for an evening of sharing stories and discussing the creative process. Before the community open mic, Fox will give a short reading from their current work in progress, Songbird, a YA novel about queerness, mental health, and living outside the boxes we are expected to fit into. They’ll also give a talk about the process of writing a novel, especially when built on personal experience, and the ways that they integrate creativity into their everyday life. If you’ve ever had a question about the novel writing process, are struggling to get your creativity flowing, or have something you’d like to share on the mic, stop by and join us!

Fox Welsh is a queer, non-binary writer with a passion for storytelling of all kinds and lifting up the voices that aren’t often heard. In undergrad, they studied sound engineering at Berklee College of Music and spent their spare time writing songs and competing in poetry slams. Recently, Fox completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. When not writing, Fox can be found teaching classes for Grubstreet and Berklee Online, working as a freelance editor and creativity coach, and drinking excessive amounts of tea.

Songbird tells the story of Bird, a senior in high school looking to leave behind her depressed-musician-girl-with-dead-dad persona. When her year at a new school starts with her falling flat on her face in the cafeteria, Ben and his friends decide to take her under their wing. But Bird can’t stop feeling pulled toward Corrine, a girl who her new friends seem to hate. As she struggles with her sexuality, her depression, and finding her voice, Bird has to overcome the pressure of what everyone wants from her and figure out what she wants for herself.   

For more, visit and follow Fox on instagram @foxwelshwriter

Upcoming Events & Special Sales March 2019

  1. ALL OF MARCH 2019: 20% off Art & Architecture Books!

  2. INTRODUCING: 4th Fridays at Dogtown Books

    What: a monthly open mic! poetry slams, music, and more!
    When: the 4th Friday of every month, 6-8:30pm
    Where: Here at the store, 132 Main St. in Gloucester
    How much: Free! (Suggested donation $5)
    Info: 6pm doors & open mic sign-up
            6:15pm: Featured performance
            7-8:30pm: Community open mic or poetry slam
    More: Each event will feature a local author, musician, or educator. Songs, poems, monologues, rants, comedy and more are all welcome on the mic! 4 min limit. (Note: Dogtown Books is an inclusive, accessible environment. Event is all ages, but likely adult themes will be addressed. All people are welcome and hate speech is not tolerated.)
    2019 Dates: March 22, April 26, May 24, June 28.

  3. BOOK RELEASE for Arthur Bloom, M.D.'s In My DNA. He will be doing a reading on Saturday March 2 at 4:30pm at The Cultural Center of Rocky Neck in Gloucester, and Dogtown Books is co-sponsoring!

Events & Special Sales February 2019


Valentine's Poetry Workshop & Open Mic February 2019

Co-owner and Poet-in-Residence Caroline Harvey will be hosting The Music of the Sonnet on Sunday February 10th from 3:30-7pm in our store at 132 Main Street in Gloucester. Limited to 12 participants and open to any writers of all levels ages 15 and up, the investment for the workshop is $20. You can pay via paypal here, or come in the store and reserve your spot. With Valentine's Day in mind, we'll cover the basics of English sonnet writing and focus on themes of love, self-love, empowerment, and connection. (Cynics are welcome, too!) Write for yourself, as a gift, or just for the joy of it!

 What: The Music of the Sonnet

When: Sunday, February 10 from 3:30-7pm

Where: 132 Main Street in Gloucester

How: limited to 12 participants; $20 fee. Click here to reserve your spot in advance! All payments are nonrefundable, but you can transfer your spot to someone else.

To follow, owners Lucas and Caroline are hosting a Valentine's Day Open Mic on Thursday February 14 from 6-8:30pm. Workshop participants are guaranteed a spot on the reader's list, and all community members are welcome! We’ll have chocolates! Plus, we'll be raffling off a very special poetry book. Attendance is free, donations are accepted, raffle tickets are $2 each, limited to 5 per person.

 What: Valentine’s Day Open Mic

When: Thursday February 14 from 6-8:30pm. Sign ups begin at 5:45pm.

Where: 132 Main Street in Gloucester

How: Just show up to listen, hang out with other book lovers, take yourself or someone else out on a date, and/or share a poem you like (original or a cover)! Keep in mind, poem must be under 4 minutes in length.

Events & Special Hours Dec 2018

Thursday December 20th: Annual Men’s Night! Beers, books, and 15% discounts from 5pm on…

Monday December 24th, Christmas Eve: we’ll be open from 11am-5pm for your last minute shopping needs!

Closed Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

(our normal hours: Tues-Fri 11am to 6pm and Sat 10am to 6pm)

Gloucester’s Legendary Dogtown Books Under New Ownership Nov 2018

Original Dogtown Bookshop owner Bob Ritchie embraces retirement as the torch is passed to Gloucester residents Lucas Cotterman and Caroline Harvey, who take ownership of the store on November 19, 2018.  Gloucester’s legendary destination for used & unusual books has been a favorite for locals and visitors since 1995, and you can count on the new Dogtown Books owners to honor this rich history. It will remain a locally owned and independent used bookstore with a uniquely Gloucester flavor. Building upon this legacy, expect more and new inventory, new book topic sections, literary gifts & goods, open mics, workshops, kid friendly activities, author events, and some new and cozy reading nooks…just in time for winter! Grand Re-Opening Celebration and Sale is scheduled for December 1st from 10am to 6pm.

Follow us on Instagram and check out our Etsy Shop!

 Meet the New Owners:

Lucas and Caroline are avid readers, oddity and vintage collectors, and used bookstore junkies. In fact, they first met in a bookstore in Big Sur, CA! The privilege of owning something as special as Dogtown Books is a cherished, lifelong dream for them both. They will ensure Dogtown Books remains Gloucester’s best destination for used books, and will prioritize inclusion, accessibility, creativity, and a feeling that when you come in the door, you’re always welcome.

Lucas is a writer and visual artist, and before owning Dogtown Books he toured as a lighting designer for over 15 years with bands such as The Strokes, Interpol, Arcade Fire, and Death Cab for Cutie, just to name a few. Caroline has been a professor at Berklee College of Music for almost a decade, and she continues to tour and lecture worldwide with her original writing and curriculum. Her grandparents owned a home near Niles Beach, sadly taken long ago in a storm, and she is proud to be among four generations of her family to call Gloucester home. Ladybird Johnson is their 6 year old Shar Pei, and while she might not be able to read (yet), she plans on sleeping and quietly snoring in the store.

 Dogtown Books is still located at 132 Main Street in Gloucester, MA.  Our business phone number is 978.281.5599. The Grand Re-Opening Celebration and Sale is scheduled for December 1st from 10am to 6pm.


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Lucas Cotterman & Caroline Harvey

Dogtown Books Owners