Sunday, March 11, 2007

New England Mobile Bookfair Newton MA

82-83 Needham Street
Newton Highlands, MA 02461
(617) 527-5817
open every day

I have no idea what the 45 year history of this store is, but it's safe to say it isn't going anywhere as its name implies. Though the exterior is nondescript, this store is a must see. Go in the door, turn right, and enter the new books area. If you don't mind searching by publisher, I can't see how the discounts they offer on new titles can be resisted. If you go left past the main desk, you enter into a world of used and remainder books that will absorb much time, so be sure to have a hearty meal beforehand.

You won't find much in the way of rarities, such as signed first editions (though a few new ones are out in the "new fiction hardcover" section near the front desk), but there is so much here that you should plan on a few hours if its your first visit.

Though they seem to have ended their special gift of a t-shirt or tote bag (i have several of each), with a certain amount purchased, I'm pretty sure they still have a cool frequent buyer's program of some sort, so you should ask at the counter.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Commonwealth Books in Boston MA

526 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA.

I was surprised to find this store in March of 2007, amidst the most likely Boston University- controlled development in Kenmore Square where I lived as a freshman in the early 90s. Interesting fireplace thing happening, and some rare art books in the front. The sections are interesting, but small. Towards the back of the store, there is an ample literature section. I remember leaving with only one book, found well-chilled on the outside bargain carts: a nice $3 hardback copy of the Bob Klapisch sports classic (at least for Mets fans), High and Tight: The Rise and Fall of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Although I didn't find much for me, I was happy to see a bookstore in Kenmore amidst all the billion dollar gentrification of what used to be a seedy, but interesting neighborhood.

During my Summer 2008 visit to the area, I learned that this shop closed. Luckily, for the time being, another bookstore has taken its place:
Symposium Books – Boston Store
526 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
If it is at all like its Providence RI cousin, it should be worth a look. I'll check it out next time around.