Sherman’s, Maine’s oldest bookstore, is part of a happy trend: an increasing number of independent bookshops are opening. In this case, Sherman’s expanded to open a fifth store in Portland in April, rounding out its other locations in Bar Harbor, Camden, Freeport, and Boothbay Harbor.
Sherman’s is located on Exchange Street, a browsing, dining and shopping destination frequented by visitors to Portland’s Old Port section. As you might expect of a shop in a tourist destination, Sherman’s rounds out it stock with a selection of well-chosen gifts, stationery and Maine-themed souvenirs. But serious readers won’t have trouble finding items of interest.
We were impressed by Sherman’s “bargain bins.” Unlike typical sales bins (cast-offs like “1001 Rice Recipes,” “Programming MS-DOS-1997 Edition,” 1980’s sitcom star biographies, and a few badly illustrated children’s books come to mind), Sherman’s makes the bargain-hunter happy by liberally discounting and offering a great selection, including some very fine art, design, gardening, and “how-to” books. For those less inclined toward thriftiness, there’s a good selection of fiction and nonfiction, as well as local Maine interest. Sherman’s has frequent book-signings featuring Maine authors.
There is a commodious and very well stocked youth section in the back of the store which also includes some of those sales bins, so parents can keep an eye on their children while browsing. We found the staff to be attentive and friendly.
Sherman’s is open every day, from 9 am to 9 pm.
Sherman’s Books and Stationery, 49 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101