Hey, folks from Maine and the surrounding area! I am posting about a "new" shop that has opened recently in Portland, Maine's Old Port that is very fountain pen friendly, and getting better all the time. The shop is Sherman's Books & Stationary. It's their fifth shop in Maine's coastal region (local chain), and of the five this one has the strongest focus on the stationary side of the business. So far as pens are concerned their current stock is extremely limited. They have some Pilot Varsities in various colors, some Sheaffer calligraphy pen sets and they have a J. Herbin calligraphy dip-pen set, but beyond that it's ballpoints and Le Pen. However, they're a new store and they genuinely try to order what the customers want, so if they get requests to start carrying pens and inks then Maine could very quickly see the birth of its first such shop! Contact info will be listed at the end so that anyone interested can let the powers that be know you would be interested in shopping for these things at this place at some point in time.
So far as non-pens are concerned, this place is an ever-expandning treasure trove of journals and stationary sets! Every time I've been in there's been more to choose from, and it's all good quality! Of course there's the rack of Moleskines, but they also carry some of the smaller Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks. They have Paper Blanks. But they also have a variety of leather bound journals, datebooks and address books. They have some Smudge Ink stationary sets that are a constant temptation to me. These are actually printed in Maine, as I understand it. They also carry cards and postcards, many of which were printed in Maine or Mass.
They are the only shop in town that I have seen to carry the Clairefontaine Triomphe tablets. They also have a brand of stationary that looks a bit similar to the Crane & Co called CR Gibson. I hadn't seen that brand before, but I like their stuff. It's not as thick as Crane but it's a laid paper, so there are sort of guidelines set into the grain itself. I really liked it and found it did very well with my fountain pens.
Anyway, I've been in there bugging them to get some Metropolitans or some Lamy stuff at the very least just to give some folks in this area options and a good local source to get started. But I'm just one voice. I know there's a few others, but the more the merrier. So if you're in the area and would like to see a shop starting to carry fountain pens and inks (especially inks! What I wouldn't give to not have to drive to Boston or order online for my inks!)
Email at Portland@Shermans.com
or you can send your hand-written-in-founatin-pen letters to:
Sherman's Books & Stationary
49 Exchange Street
Portland, ME 04101