9 Unique Bookstores Across Maine

From a former 21,000 square foot chicken barn to a shop that only sells mystery novels, this eclectic roundup of bookstores will help you find your next read.

Whether it’s curled up by the fireplace as the snow flies, lounging lakeside in a hammock, or sitting in a beach chair soaking up the summer sun, when you’re in Vacationland it’s easy to immerse yourself in a good book, made easier still by the range of independent booksellers across the state. No matter the season, here’s a list of some of our favorite Maine bookstores to help you make the most of your leisure time.

Green Hand Bookshop | Portland
Fans of vintage press and pulp horror need look no further than Green Hand Bookshop, a Portland staple with an impressive collection of offbeat and unique second-hand books. The narrow, overflowing shelves are stacked to the ceiling with titles you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Shermans | Multiple Locations
In business since 1886, Shermans is a well-known and well-loved institution that offers a variety of books, toys, and gifts. Open year-round, seven days a week, with nine locations spread across the Maine coast, you’ll have no trouble finding your next read here.

Elements: Books Coffee Beer | Biddeford
Equal parts bookstore and eatery, this charming cafe in Biddeford lets you browse their curated selection of used books while you munch on some local breakfast fare or indulge in a drink or two. In addition to their day-to-day offerings, Elements hosts a variety of events from musical performances to game nights.

The Briar Patch | Bangor
This small shop is home to an impressive children’s section as well as a great selection of toys and games. And though the focus is on children’s books, there is a strong selection of adult titles as well.

Print: A Bookstore | Portland
Perched on Munjoy Hill, this shop is dedicated to its mission of promoting Maine and New England authors, as well as authors of color. Print hosts a variety of community events as well, from author readings to book club meetings.

Big Chicken Barn Books and Antiques | Ellsworth
Inside a 21,000-square-foot repurposed chicken barn, this massive antique shop is also Maine’s largest bookstore, with an entire upstairs section dedicated to second-hand books. Take your time browsing the over 150,000 titles. Plus, there’s plenty of comfortable seating and free coffee and tea on standby.

Rabelais | Biddeford
Providing one of the largest selections of rare, out-of-print cookbooks in the country, Rabelais is a mecca for chefs, epicures, and food historians. The shop’s impressive collection has even been recognized by national publications CondeNast Traveler, the New Yorker, and Food & Wine.

Quiet City Books | Lewiston
Located in Lewiston’s arts district, this shop has a significant collection of local titles and handmade goods by Maine artists. A staple in the community, they host poetry readings, book releases for local authors, musical performances, and act as a venue for hosting art shows.

Mainely Murders | Kennebunk
This specialty mystery bookstore is devoted exclusively to suspense, crime, and detective fiction. A haven for mystery lovers and true-crime enthusiasts, the staff is eager to offer their recommendations to any armchair detective.

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