Locations marked
are within a 20 minute walk from the convention center.
There’s a Barnes & Noble in the Prudential mall attached to the convention center – but you may
already have seen one of those. On nearby Newbury Street, the Back Bay’s shopping nexus, you can visit
the eclectic Trident Booksellers & Café (338 Newbury ), offering books, food, and free wifi. It would
be hard to ask for more, but if you do, Raven Used Books is just a few steps down the street (263
A destination for old book lovers is the Brattle Book Shop (9 West Street). They’ve been in business since
1825 and you may have seen the proprietor, Ken Gloss, appraising volumes on Antiques Road Show. To
get there, stroll across the Common or hop on the Green Line Inbound to the Boylston stop.
The Green Line “C” train Outbound will take you fairly quickly to another second hand dealer, the
Boston Book Annex (906 Beacon Street). Hop off at the St. Mary’s stop. Just a few stops further west is
the Brookline Booksmith (279 Harvard Street), in the lively Coolidge Corner neighborhood. Booksmith is
an independent bookstore that has a dedicated following of local readers who actually drove Barnes &
Noble out of the neighborhood. And you won’t have to miss any educational programs (or vendors’
fetes) to visit them, since they’re open until 10 PM Monday through Thursday, until 11 PM on Fridays
and Saturdays, and until 9 PM on Sundays. While they specialize in current titles, they also offer a Used
Book Cellar and provide an interesting range of gifts for readers and writers.
If you’re willing to venture across the Charles River, a 30-minute walk along Massachusetts Avenue will
bring you to the bookstores of Cambridge. (If you don’t wish to walk, take the Red line, or the #1 Bus on
Mass. Ave. will get you there – eventually.)
After crossing the bridge and passing by MIT you’ll arrive shortly at Rodney’s Bookstore (698 Mass, Ave.)
in Central Square, where they sell a wide variety of used books, bookshelves to place them on, and
posters to hang over them.
On a side street just beyond Rodney’s lurks Pandemonium Books & Games (4 Pleasant Street),
specializes in science fiction and fantasy (and games).
Continuing along the avenue you’ll soon hit Harvard Square. Locals still mourn the loss of half a dozen
bookstores in & around the Square, but many worthwhile bibliodestinations remain.
The Harvard Bookstore (1256 Mass. Ave.) is open until 11 PM most nights. They offer new titles,
remainders, and secondhand books, and host a wide range of author readings. They also have their own
in-store book-making robot, Paige M. Gutenborg. The Harvard Bookstore is an independent bookseller.
The legendary Harvard Coop is now run by Barnes & Noble and looks and feels like a Barnes & Noble.
The Grolier Poetry Book Shop (6 Plympton Street) specializes in . . . well, you’ve probably already
guessed. (Be forewarned that that they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays.)
Nearby Schoenhof’s Foreign Books (76A Mt. Auburn Street), the largest foreign language bookstore in
the US, carries works in dozens, possibly hundreds, of different languages, as well as translations. The
Million Year Picnic, just down the street at 99 Mt. Auburn, carries comic books and graphic novels.
Raven Used Books has a sister store with a slightly more academic bent than the Newbury Street
location in Harvard Square. (52B JFK Street).
More Options:
Almost Banned in Harvard Square Booksellers (Harvard Square) is a kiosk that may or may not
be open during your stay. When it’s open, all books are just $2.
Ars Libri (500 Harrison Avenue in the South End, Boston) “maintains the largest stock in America
of rare and out-of-print books on art”.
Commonwealth Books (9 Spring Lane and 2 Milk Street) is a secondhand bookstore with two
locations in downtown Boston near the Brattle Book Shop.
Lorem Ipsum Books (1299 Cambridge Street, near Central Square in Cambridge) is one of the
few used bookstores in the nation to offer a Rainy Day Discount.
MIT Press Bookstore (292 Main Street, near Central Square in Cambridge) offers tech titles from
other publishers as well.
New England Comics (316 Harvard Street, across the street from Brookline Booksmith) carries
you-know-what and graphic novels.
Porter Square Books (25 White Street, just off Massachusetts Avenue, beyond Harvard Square)
is new and independent, with a café and numerous author readings.
Revolution Books ( 1158 Massachusetts Avenue, near Harvard Square) is on the left side of
Mass. Ave. for a reason. The revolution they refer to does not involve a Tea Party.
Robin Bledsoe, Bookseller (1640 Massachusetts Avenue, just beyond Harvard Square) has a dual
focus on horses and art.
Guide by: Joe Pollender