When Bethany traveled to Boston a year ago, she came home singing the praises of Brattle Book Shop, and blaming it for some overweight luggage (hers and other people’s) on the way home. Last week, I had a free afternoon and restless feet, so I hopped the T into the city to see for myself.
And oh MY. It’s a treasure house, people. I’m lucky I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars and come home lugging dozens of books. For look what meets your eye when you walk up:
Book stalls and book carts galore! Just like at my beloved Shakespeare & Co. in Paris! And ALL the books outside are $5 or less. There’s a fair bit of stuff to wade through, especially on the $1 racks, but a lot worth looking at and quite a bit worth having. And I love the fun art on the alley walls.
The carts are wheeled in at night, best I can guess, and the shelves are locked up. I spotted some of the sliding door panels resting in a corner:
Inside, there are three floors of literary goodness – fiction, New England interest, politics, philosophy, history, languages, children’s and MORE. I could have spent HOURS, and oh how I coveted the beautiful rare edition of Anne of the Island, sitting in the rare-book case. (Alas, I don’t have $250 to spare. And Serenity, I thought of you.)
I did come home with one treasure: an early edition of Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs. I’d heard of it because it features in Dear Pen Pal, part of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, but I’d never read it. It’s such a charming story – and isn’t my copy beautiful?
Needless to say, I’ll be going back to Brattle often, and I’ll take all my bookish friends there when they come to visit. I haven’t even been to the rare-book room yet – though I’m sure I’ll find lots to covet, and perhaps even something to take home.