Old Inlet Bookshop in Homer, Alaska, USA

Location: 221 miles from Anchorage. A 52-hour drive of 2,485 miles from Seattle, WA.

Andrew Wills opened the Old Inlet Bookshop in December 1997. "It gave me a good excuse not to go commercial fishing in the winter and I also wanted to give something back to this community I had grown to love," he said. "I came from the east coast in 1982 and am a third generation bookseller. My Mom still owns and operates the Lord Randall Bookshop in Marshfield, Massachusetts, and my Dad still scouts for me back there. The bookshop moved to its current location on Main Street in 2004. Kachemak Bay is a few hundred yards away. We also have the Mermaid Cafe and a B&B in the same building.
"Homer has a population of around 5,000 but around 15,000 people use the town and call it home. It is very scenic with mountains and five glaciers across the bay. It booms with visitors in the summer but gets really quiet in the winter. I think this bookshop is the furthest west bookshop in North America (on the road system.) You can drive or fly south from Anchorage or arrive by boat.
"We specialize in Alaskana, Arctic, nautical and literature but we are a general shop and stock most genres with the exception of romance. We get a lot of folks in the summer, less in the shoulder season, and they are few and far between in the winter months. The reasons I started the shop are varied. To not feel obligated to go crabbing in the Bering Sea in January factored in."