Maria Boord Curtis and Jeff Curtis of Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops, left, have purchased the Book Review in Falmouth from Clare Lygo. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops, new owners of the Book Review in Falmouth, say they won’t change much about the popular store except for its name and its size, which will more than double.

Book Review has been a community institution since 1980, and Sherman’s owners Jeff Curtis and Maria Boord Curtis said they will retain its comfortable atmosphere, employees and offerings. The store will open in January, just a few doors down from the current location in the former Lotus Restaurant. Curtis said the new store will be “well over twice the size of the current store.”

Sherman’s will keep the Book Review name alive by hanging the familiar sign at the back of the new store.

Clare Lygo, who has owned Book Review since 2017, said over the years the store has served as a “quiet and peaceful place” for the community, and she is confident Sherman’s will do right by that tradition.

“I feel like I’ve taken the store as far as I feel comfortable taking it,” Lygo said in a recent interview. “Putting it into Sherman’s hands, with their experience and knowledge, I know they’ll take it to the next level.”

Lygo purchased the book shop from Donna Williams and Stephen Fournier, a brother-sister duo who had owned the shop since it was established in 1980. Lygo and her children were regular customers, and when she heard it was for sale she was inspired to take over because she “couldn’t let another small business fade into oblivion,” she told The Forecaster at the time.

In addition to books, Sherman’s says it will continue to carry many of the products offered at Book Review. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

“It was very hard working through the pandemic with the lockdowns and staff changes. It was 24/7,” Lygo said. “I did everything from buying, marketing, socials, I worked up front, did payroll.”

When she decided it was the right time for her to move on, she gave Curtis a call.

“One morning, my phone rang and it was Clare,” Curtis said. “We had a lovely conversation and she told me she was interested in selling Book Review, but wanted to make sure it was carried on and that we had the same interests.”

The store was “on our radar already as a store we admired,” Boord Curtis said.

“We weren’t going to open a location near it that would risk it, but we were longing to be in Falmouth, so the timing of everything was serendipity really,” she said. “It’s a fantastic little store.”

Sherman’s, which has been in business for 135 years, has eight other locations throughout the state, including Freeport, Portland, Windham and Topsham.

The new store will be closed from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1 for the move and will reopen under Sherman’s ownership Jan. 2. The new owners hope to move into the new space “sometime in January,” Curtis said.

“We’re hoping the community will come out and help us get all the books from one location to the next,” Curtis said. “We’re going to stay in the current location until the new one is fully prepared. Once that space is ready, we’ll do a quick switch. We hope to not close at all.”

The new owners both said they’re excited to be “entrusted with Book Review and look forward to getting to know the Falmouth community.”

As for Lygo, she’s excited to be starting a new chapter in her life and to have some time to visit family in Australia, whom she hasn’t had time to see in the last few years, she said.

“Customers will be looked after. I know that Sherman’s is going to do a fantastic job,” Lygo said. “I hope the community will continue to shop and support local.”

 

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