Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Back to business

I'm back from Boston, with bags of books in hand and some unforgettable incidents in mind. This post will be brief, because after days away from the shop I've got a backlog of messages and chores to catch up on, but tomorrow I promise more, with photos even. First things first: Ryan finished in the fine time of 3:10:15, not bad at all for his first Boston Marathon! He didn't feel destroyed, either, he said he still had some gas left in the tank. Although he was a bit creaky yesterday. I was as close as I could get to the finish line, a block up, on the northeast edge of Copley Square, which considering the crowds and barricades was a great vantage point. I saw the runners just after they were wrapped in silver space blankets after the finish, and they all looked like very very very tired superheroes in their capes. What an amazing and beautiful spectacle of endurance it was.

Ryan bussed out to the marathon start line early in the morning, and we stayed at a hotel just a block off Boston Common, so I had hours to spend walking around town in the morning, and I put this little pocket guide to good use:

This was published by Starhill Press in 1991 and although some of the bookshop information is outdated, I didn't mind that. The essentials are unchanged. I walked around Beacon Hill and beyond, and saw the houses where various literary lights once lived, including Louisa May Alcott and family, Thoreau, Henry Adams, Robert Frost, and Sylvia Plath. And I looked longingly at the former home of publisher Little, Brown & Company, on Beacon Street, and thought about all their authors coming and going over the years. I also peeked in the windows of Beacon Press (closed for Patriot's Day, as was the Athenaeum), visited sites of famous bookshops now closed and gone, and trolled for good books at two open shops, before heading down Boylston Street to watch the marathoners come in. A great trip. More tomorrow.

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