It was like a year and a half ago the last (and only) time I shared a bookstore I love. It should be happening more often, honestly. Going around to different places on my “tour” (which is more just me traveling and you seeing pictures) has allowed me the chance to visit libraries and bookstores I love. This time I am going to share Brookline Booksmith, an amazing book store in Brookline, MA.
I lived in Brookline for 2 years while in graduate school. I primarily lived in Beacon Street, one of the major roads that starts in Boston and goes straight west for 3 towns. The T (Boston’s subway system) has a line that runs down Beacon Street through Brookline. I loved living there, but it was too far from where I ended up working and cost too much money to live there. The last year I lived there, my roommate Becca and I spent a lot of time in Coolidge Corner, one of the main town centers. This is where a ton of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options are. One of those is Brookline Booksmith, the bookstore Fredrick visits on his book tour.
The bookstore does author events and have this great basement space where most of them happen. Every so often, and this happened when Chuck Palahniuk (who wrote Fight Club) came, they use the theater across the street for larger crowds. I went to a few author events when I lived there. I still have my copy of Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire that I got when he came to town.
I haven’t been there often since I moved away. This is because everyone I knew have also moved away. The reason we were in town in July was because we had dinner at a local restaurant. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run over to Brookline Booksmith to take some pictures and buy something. The store hasn’t changed much since I moved away 13 years ago. It’s full of books and stuff. I loved their stuff just as much as I loved their books.
I sought out the Jane Austen section- I always seek out a specific author to see what a store has to buy. I was thrilled to find a number of her books, but also the employees suggesting people read Persuasion! I love to buy different editions of Persuasion and I found one here, one I didn’t have yet. I also bought a nice edition of The Princess Bride on sale.
What do I love about Brookline Booksmith? They always had a good balance of stuff and books within the store, but they price their books to move. They prominently display their discounted books. There are multiple copies of books on shelves and, instead of pulling staff suggestions into their own bookshelf, they put these yellow cards on the shelf. This way you see the suggestion as you browse the area you want. They also keep a good stream of authors going in and out of the store. They prominently display new books in the window of the store. They have the benefit of being located in a very busy spot in Coolidge Corner.
If you are ever in Brookline, I suggest making your way to Coolidge Corner and stop at Brookline Booksmith. There are plenty of other places to eat and shop while you are there too!