1256 Mass. Ave. (Harvard Square)
Cambridge, MA 02138
Not to be confused with the Harvard Coop, this independent shop in Harvard Square offers an impressive selection and a top rate author lecture series. Looking for gently used titles or remainders? Head straight to the basement. Not sure what you want? The knowledgeable staff posts their top picks online. For the aspiring author, Harvard Book Store has a machine to print and bind your own work. However, if you’re looking for a cozy chair to sit and read, you won’t find it here.
279 Harvard Street (Coolidge Corner)
Brookline, MA 02446
This Coolidge Corner staple outlived the nearby Barnes & Noble. With a regular schedule of author signings and speakers, a wide selection of new titles, and a basement packed with discounted used books, there is something for everybody. There is also a cozy children’s area and a quirky selection of odds & ends and unique gifts.
Brattle Book Shop
9 West Street (Downtown Crossing)
Boston, MA 02111
Open since 1825, the Brattle Book Shop calls itself “one of America’s oldest and largest antiquarian bookstores.” If you’re in Downtown Crossing and spot what looks like an outdoor library, you’re in the right spot. Titles start at just $1 on the outdoor discount shelves. Inside there are three more stories of used books including hard-to-find titles. Browse the rare book room and you just might spot a first edition Moby Dick.
New England Mobile Book Fair
82 Needham Street (Newton Highlands)
Newton, MA 02461
It’s not mobile. It’s not a fair. It’s a giant warehouse completely covered in books – on shelves, tables and in boxes on the floor. Their new titles are offered at everyday discounts; the crowded backroom is chock full of more markdowns. Described in customer reviews as “charmingly cramped”, if you want a spot to read, pull up a corner of the floor. One must-know tip before you go: this store is organized by publisher, not author. If you’re having trouble navigating, just ask a member of the staff.
9 Spring Lane (Downtown Crossing)
Boston, MA 02109
Many lovers of prose adore the musty smell of used book stacks. This cluttered, cozy space is a book lover’s bookstore. Readers seeking hard-to-find text treasures boast of success at Commonwealth Books. It includes a downstairs bargain basement and a couple of comfy chairs in front of a little fireplace.