65 Weybosset Drive, Providence, RI
I’d like to say it was a dark, blasphemous night full of rain and eldritch horrors when I stumbled across the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences bookshop deep in the heart of the New England city of Arkham, but it was a bright, cool summer morning in Providence when we poked our heads inside, right before we headed to the beach. Still, it was a fun visit, though a quick one, and if you’re a fan of Lovecraft and passing through town, it’s a required stop.
The shop resides inside an old-school “mall” of sorts, right in downtown Providence surrounded by delis, bars, banks, and coffee shops. The shop itself is small and looks unassuming from the outside, but once you walk inside you know exactly where you are, as the small shop is chock full of weird horror, pulp, mystery, and other grim, gory genres, and as far as nonfiction, there’s some occult, memoir, history, myths, folktales, essays, and other “curious subjects” that all lean toward the strange, the dark, and the eerie.
Oh yeah, and they have a ton of books by and about H.P. Lovecraft. Everything from massive tomes of all his works to individual novels, books about his work and life, about horror in general, and other writers Lovecraft admired, worked with, or was often compared to. I saw a particular Lovecraft biography I had been looking for offline for a couple of years, so you might find that rare gem.
You’ll also find an assortment of weird horror art, gifts, clothes, trinkets, statuettes, etc., all kinds of odds and ends to round out your reading space, giving it that unique Lovecraft look. And at first I thought it was just a store, but it also appears to be associated with the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council, which organizes various Lovecraft events and such, so look into that as well.
Atmosphere — A small shop with a lot of (dark) heart and (grim) spirit! It also filled up while we were there, with a half dozen or so other patrons who came in the few minutes after we arrived.
Quality — The books were used and new, and event eh used were in mostly good shape, with a few well worn volumes that were discounted appropriately.
Quantity — It’s a small shop, but you’re there for the Lovecraft stuff, right? They have plenty of that!
Diversity — Not very diverse, as it’s a shop dedicated to the kind of dark, weird horror Lovecraft wrote.
Affordability — The books ranged from new prices to modestly discounted.
Amenities — It’s in a quiet indoor mall in a downtown full of places to eat and relax. The shop doesn’t offer much beyond books and events, but you’re close to plenty of amenities.
Location — Downtown Providence, RI, inside a small “mall” of sorts.
Customer Service — The clerk seemed busy yet present while we were there, and didn’t lurk or become overwatchful, as staff in small shops (and Lovecraftian shop owners) sometimes do.
Overall — This is an excellent shop for lovers of Lovecraft or strange horror, and they offer just enough of other somewhat related topics that most book lovers will be able to browse for a few minutes while their Lovecraft-fanatic friend goes wild. A fun spot for a quick look at Lovecraft literature.