Portland peninsula bookstores in the age of Coronavirus

While the libraries are opening up in various ways, including curbside service for our island residents, and “PPL-to-go” for those of use who like to make good use of our Portland Public Library, sometimes a bookstore is just what you need, especially if you are looking to purchase a book as a gift. Here is a rundown of which bookstores, within walking distance of Casco Bay Lines, are open for those who need books.

Longfellow Books. This beloved and venerable Portland landmark is still closed for browsing but offers this information on their website: We are currently closed to the public, but we are providing curbside pick-up Monday-Friday, from 1:00-4:00 PM and Saturday from 12-2 PM. AND we can still ship you books as always–we will continue to waive shipping fees for those experiencing financial hardship!  We will be here answering phones and processing orders Monday- Friday 10am-4pm.

Sherman’s Bookstore. In contrast, this store on Exchange Street, is very open to the public. Exchange Street is blocked off to car traffic these days, which makes for a very pleasant stroll. According to their website: Our Website is Open and Mailing Out Orders Daily. You Can Now Order Online and Pickup In Store or Curbside. (Wait for Our Call Before Coming to Pickup…We May Not Have Your Book in Stock Yet!). Thanks For Shopping Locally!

Print: a bookstore. This lovely store at the foot of Munjoy Hill,  is one of Portland’s newest bookstores. They are still closed to the public, but do have curbside service. On their website, updated July 27th, they state: At this time, the doors of Print remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are, however, still here to get books to you. We continue to offer shipping directly to customers – with free shipping on orders over $20 – and curbside pickup from 1p to 4p, six days a week.

Yes Books. If browsing through used bookstores is your thing, you’re in luck. Yes Books, located next to Congress Square Park, and across from the art museum, is open to the public. No doubt protocols are in place, so wear your mask. This is a great place for the atmosphere and charm, alone.

The Green Hand Bookshop. This charming bookstore, located in the arts district on Congress Street, is owned by my friend Michelle Souliere, and offers a “warm outpost with shelves stacked with a handpicked selection of secondhand books from all genres.” The Green Hand opened up mid-July to the public, with limited hours. Michelle does offer pick-up, for those who aren’t ready to venture into her shop.

Carlson Turner Antiquarian Books and Bookbindery. Another longtime institution on Congress Street, advertises that We are currently open by Appointment or Chance. Give us a call if you want to stop by. We’re planning to RE-OPEN and returning to regular hours EARLY to MID JULY. We hope to see you then! (I haven’t walked by yet, to see if they are indeed open).

There are other options for specialty books, such as Casablanca Comics and Maine Historical Society’s museum shop. And don’t forget that the Ivy Hall Gift Shop on Long Island, also has books for sale! So, there is no reason to not be able to continue to purchase books in Portland and our island, and support our local booksellers.