Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Globe Corner Bookstores and Two Others

One of my favorite things about booking a new vacation is that I get to go out and buy a new travel guidebook. For me, that means a trip to The Globe Corner Bookstores in Cambridge. I'm like a kid in the candy store with all of the books, maps, and globes. I bought my Geochron at The Globe Corner Bookstores, and the staff is excellent. I was lost for a time after they closed their former location in Harvard Square. Luckily, they reopened about a year ago in a new, albeit somewhat smaller space, at 90 Mount Auburn Street. The bookstore also hosts an Adventure Travel Lecture Series with talks by travel authors. If you're not in the Boston area, you can still browse and buy through their web site.

Borders and Barnes & Noble are great for their selection, but I prefer going to local businesses than big-box stores. And another thing that these superstores lack is the thrill of the chase (and books for $3 or less) that you get at used book stores. There are a couple of good ones in Boston that I visited last week.

The Brattle Book Shop at 9 West Street near Downtown Crossing has a huge selection of used books. It's easy to spend hours just browsing the shelves. There are carts filled with books in the lot next to the shop and a couple of floors with books from the floor to the ceiling inside. There are plenty of books outside that sell for $5, $3, or $1. I stumbled across a copy of Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World, which I loved as a kid, for $5. It's not in great condition, but the book is selling on Amazon for $60 or more. Brattle Book Shop also buys and sells rare books.

Commonwealth Books has a number of locations in the Boston area. I browsed the shelves of the location in the basement of the Old South Meeting House on the corner of Milk Street and Washington Street in Downtown Crossing. There are some discount books on the shelves on the sidewalks of Milk Street and the store is down the steps. It's not as big as Brattle Book Shop but still an interesting place to look for a lost gem of a book.

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