Boston Books

As has been hinted at elsewhere on this blog, I have a bit of a liking for books but and wishing to spread out further from the usual Barnes & Noble stores, i had to delve into this cities more eclectic book dominions. You may notice a distinct lack of photos, this was down to the serious business of distraction and buying but I am sure the interiors are a click away on your favourite search engine, should you be so inclined to virtually meander around.

I made sure I scoured the streets for some suitably interesting bastions of literature and first up was Brattle Bookshop, the one that everybody told to seek out.  I wasn’t disappointed, with a top floor full of rare books that occupied me for around four hours over various days – it felt good to just be holding a bit of history – and that’s not forgetting the other two floors and outside browsing area which made everything that bit more blissful.

SAM_2733The fun didn’t stop there though, Commonwealth Books which we stumbled upon whilst nosing down an alley has plenty of old books and feels a little more academic in nature which suited me just fine.  As well as rare books, there was a nod to local authors and a massive ginger cat who at first glance looked stuffed but was really just lazy.

The treat of book shops is how they affected me emotionally, that intense shiver of anticipation, the question of where to start first and then the reckless abandon with which one shows little disregard for time or company, owing to the importance of scouring each title.  Commonwealth in particular has me salivating over so many obscure title.   .t felt a lot more comfortable than the more clinical Brattle did and being tucked away made it feel more like a secret, overall a great atmosphere unless allergic to cats…or gingers.  Often did I curse the weight regulations of the airlines which is now just tradition quickly followed by reluctant acceptance.

Trident Booksellers and café was an excellent find by Tom and was situated hardly anytime from the hostel which was all bittersweet as it was only explored on the last day.  The food was fantastic, I had some scrambled egg and seasoned potato concoction which was massive and with coffee top ups aplenty set me up for shopping which was a pleasure.  The shop was intimate and there was a sale on too, bewilderingly the staff seemed happy I had found the sale section which puzzled me as it was right in front of all the other books.

Comicopia was a decent comic shop near Fenway Park, not as much choice as we are used to at the famous (and local) Page 45 but it used the space it had well to support local authors and illustrators as well as giving a good overview of various genres.  Set somewhat out of the way it was a pleasant place to browse and just down the road we had a celery beer from Illinois which was refreshing and extremely light.

As the ultimate tease I will refrain from showing you what I eventually purchased for the time being but it is, as ever an eclectic mix and by then I should be ready to review one of the books, pushing the tease even more.   I will stop before I tempt myself to do the playful, flirty with a book pose for a photograph – just to further the theme –  which nobody should be subjected to.

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64 Replies to “Boston Books”

  1. Please, pose with a book! Just make sure the book isn’t all there is! LOL… Just kidding!
    Ste J it sounds like you had a great vacay. I’m having a fab working away from home experience… no bookshops, though, I did get hit by a bicycle. OUCH, I mean I am quite sore. (I was on the sidewalk) Glad you’re back safe & look forward to hearing more!

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    1. Haha, I doubt I am artistic enough for anything other than a book cover. It was a good time away, it seems a while since I last fully relaxed for a bit. What is it with cities and bicycles coming at you from all angles?! I am hope you aren’t too pained by your two wheeled encounter and I have a bunch more posts to get through which I will endeavour to do so soon enough.

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      1. I’m P””’d off about being hit! I’m very sore & lucky no ribs were broken. I was on the sidewalk. Why is the bicyclist on the sidewalk? It’s illegal in Canada. They have bike lanes (that my tax dollars pay for!) I told the guy he was a coward, that he was afraid of riding in traffic because he was in fear of being hit by a car, but he had no fear of riding on the sidewalk and mowing down pedestrians! “Scuse me! Hey, 2 rants in 1 day!

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        1. Deep breath. It’s crazy if he is risking going on the pavement, that he can’t even take care to look where he is going. I am glad you are okay and nothing is broken though. I wish you could take it easier though, just to be sure you heal quicker.

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                1. That is true, I am trying to put more into getting something than I have in a while, you know when you lose concentration and a bit of confidence…well I had that for a bit. Writing or reading offers would be awesome right about now. Where is the wishes fairy when we need her lol.

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                  1. I know this is completely off topic but a note for Resa – if you have bruised ribs, make sure you take 10 deep breaths every hour, even though it hurts. This will clear your chest and help you not get a chest infection. I was not told this when I bruised my ribs falling over a dog while out running, and it would have been useful to know less than 6 weeks after the event, so just popping this here for you!

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    1. It was such a lovely day as well and the surrounding buildings kept it pleasantly in shade. It is sad that bookshops are disappearing, it just makes me more determined to spend enough to keep them going, the beauty of that is that for a small amount, a lot of books can be accrued.

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    1. That should be on the post after the reblog I just did, all being well I should be continuing at a fair rate of knots with all these posts. So much lined up so little time to indulge in completing anything!

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    1. Sadly I have no more photos of the shops but a couple of book photos coming up after the reblog I just gone and done. If I would have had more bag space I would have easily picked up double the amount of books. Curiously I found more books printed by English publishers on the west coast when you would think it would have been the east coast that would have had more.

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      1. Why not email the stores to see if they’ll volunteer pictures. I’m sure they’d appreciate the mention. It’d be great to see pictures matched up with your comments.

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  2. Wow, it sounds like you unearthed things and locales that even when I lived in Boston I didn’t get to! Celery beer! But celery is tasty in lots of things. If you have an electric blender, you can make an excellent breakfast smoothie from: 2 stalks celery, 1/4 cup blueberries or strawberries, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup yoghurt, and 1 cup of any fruit juice low in sugar (I prefer Ocean Spray cranberry light). I sometimes also add some cinnamon. Anyway, that’s not what you were talking about! I’m glad you had a nice time, and that our bookstores pleased such a connoisseur of book fairs and the like as you are. Come back again some time, and try shipping boxes of books home rather than taking them by plane–they can travel book rate that way, which is cheaper! Ta!

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    1. When I searched for obscure things to do in Boston I kept getting the same things like go to a Red Sox game and I’m not having that as obscure so I took to wandering around. Sometimes just looking around and taking a random route is better than the crutch of the internet we seem to rely on for everything.

      That sounds like a delightful recipe, I will have to go hunt the blender out and probably rinse it out a well after all this time.

      I have a fear of shipping books, the uncaring hands packing things away and such, I like to have them with me and even sticking them in the x-ray machine at the airport was harrowing enough for me. I was of a mind to do that though but perhaps I will do when I come back…I do have a liking for American bookshops, they are a great advert for your country.

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  3. It looks as though you found some sweet little gems of bookstores while in Boston. I’m sure the books you found will delight you. Bookstores such as the ones you visited are getting harder to find.

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    1. It is sad that so many are disappearing, all we can do is support the ones we have and preserve that exciting feeling of discovering books. I did you proud on the choosing front as well, as will be revealed soon.

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    1. Yes it’s a craft beer, there were lots on the menu but feeling fairly delicate, it was better we plumped for the ‘healthy’ option. It was refreshing and had an interesting taste. It’s almost the start of a new healthy regime for pub dwellers, I certainly felt like I’d had one of my five a day.

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  4. I love bookstores. Especially ones that specialise in older books. You walk in and your nose is assailed with that unique sweet musty smell. It’s like when you pick up a genuine leather handbag or satchel…there’s nothing quite like it. LOL okay, okay, I know I’m weird 🙂

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    1. Admit it, your just in it for the feel of leather lol! That unique book smell is the scent of adventures waiting to be had and it gets me every time, The rule has to be that you exit with the minimum of one book or as I call that, a bad day at the bookshop.

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    1. It’s more likely that I will find books that I either have wanted for a while or will challenge me more in the independents, it’s great to have that option, long may it last.

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  5. You need a job where you can travel around the world writing about the obscure little bookstores you find and the hidden gems within. Sounds like the perfect work for you.

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    1. That would be wonderful, travelling, meeting bookstore owners, reading on flights in between as well, it sounds like the perfect job. If only I had the money I would be tempted to just go and do it…

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      1. Oh yes, so true! It doesn’t rain that often here in NY so perhaps it’s the same in Boston. At least much less so than in Europe in the summer.

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  6. What a wonderful book shop…but surely, you like books? I would never have guessed! How exciting you went to Boston, I’ve missed this…

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    1. You should have been reading the blog for closely for all my veiled book hints. I look forward to going other places soon as well, not that I have much cash now but it needs to be done!

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      1. Yep…I obviously haven’t been paying attention lol! I hope it won’t be too long before you can get away again. So glad you got to have your week away my friend.

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        1. It was needed and I look forward to doing something in a few months, I have a bit of a madcap idea actually so will have to see how that comes about with timings and all, apart from that I shall say nothing else.

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    1. Each shop was exhilarating and being in another country there were lots of books I wasn’t familiar with which was brilliant, so many history books and so on that I wouldn’t have come across in England unless they were sourced in another book I was reading. It helped to extend my TBR list, as if that was needed.

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    1. It is always fascinating to see how bookshops differ from place to place, in the end I was using the bookshops to navigate around the city, such was my appreciation.

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  7. Wow, Ste J, I could feel your pain over the weight restrictions 😦 But perhaps it’s a blessing! lol

    I’ve never been to Boston (or much of anywhere, really), so I’m looking forward to reading your blog posts on it! I live about 35 minutes from downtown Manhattan and mostly due to the expense, I rarely get there either. What a bookstore!

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    1. Exploring is a wonderful thing, I thoroughly recommend it! I enjoy going to random towns as much as tourist places, as it is just nice to live a different life for a bit, especially when abroad and does the writing soul good too!

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          1. God’s honest truth, Ste J, as an adult I’ve never been bored. The only time I remember being bored was as a kid, but it didn’t last long ’cause we always thought of something to do. That’s was back in the 60s when creativity and brains were our “hardware” and “software” 😀

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            1. Imagination and willingness to amuse oneself seems almost alien in these times of instantaneous gratification. Sometimes I think I’m bored but really I am just too lazy to turn Judge Judy off, lol.

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