Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bookstore Nirvana

I really think I need to relocate to the old 01063 zip code of my college days, when I worked in a library, a rare book room, and interned at Barry Moser's Hampshire Typothetae letterpress.

The New York Times has a great article and slide show of some of the many new and used bookstores in Western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley, including the Bookmill in Montague. (The picture here is from Half Moon Books on Pearl Street in Northampton.)

THe 02138 zip code of Harvard Square has lost several bookstores since I moved to Boston 20 years ago. In 1987 ,when I arrived to take the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course, there was Wordsworth, the Penguin Bookstore up on Mass Avenue, Revolution Books, Starr Bookshop over by the Harvard Lampoon building, MacIntyre & Moore, a New Age bookstore called Seven Stars (where I could usually find good folklore collections), the Grolier Poetry Bookshop, as well as the Harvard Book Store and the Coop. Grolier is still hanging on, the Coop and the Harvard Book Store are still there, but all the others are gone. Revolution moved to Central Square, and McIntyre & Moore to Davis, closer to where I live.

As if to stem that tide, I am tithing a big chunk of my not-so-disposable income to my local independent bookseller. If they aren't here in 10 years, it won't be because I didn't do my bit.

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