Thursday, April 20, 2006


Brattle Book Shop, and a dedication

Here are a few photos I took on Monday of the Brattle Book Shop. This first one is the front facade and entrance. The general books are on the first two floors, and the rare books are on the third floor. I love multiple-story bookshops - the thought of all those books! All throughout the whole building! As a side-note, the yellow building next door was the home, during much of the nineteenth century, of Miss Elizabeth Peabody, who worked there with Ralph Waldo Emerson on The Dial, the quarterly journal of the transcendentalists. She apparently had a bookshop in her front parlor. Nathaniel Hawthorne married Elizabeth's sister, Sophia, in the back parlor (the author of Literary Byways of Boston & Cambridge tells us all this). The building is now a restaurant. How good to still have a bookshop nearby:

The second photo is the alley lot to the right of the building. I tried to get all of the literary wall mural in the picture while also showing some of the outdoor book stalls and sale carts which fill the lot. I spent more than an hour here going through the one dollar, three dollar, and five dollar carts and shelves, hunting for both bargains and booksellers' tickets. I found lots of each. The best item I found was a two-volume set of stories signed by occult-supernatural author Arthur Machen, but I also came home with Christopher Morley's play-tale The Trojan Horse, a few Siegfried Sassoon books, A Traveller in Italy by H.V. Morton, and Casuals of the Sea by William McFee. I bought two grocery bags of books in all. When I visited Brattle in February I didn't look outside at all because of the freezing wind, so it was good to revisit so soon and get a chance to really take my time there, and be thorough. The photo only shows a fraction of the books out there:

I feel like Brattle is carrying on the ancient tradition of the outdoor bookstall here. The kind clerk let me leave my books inside and come back for them after watching the marathon finish, so I wouldn't have to haul my heavy bags up and down several blocks.

This post today, about the joy of bookhunting at a favorite shop, is dedicated to a very dear bookish friend who is having a difficult time right now. In fact, I'm having a tough time thinking about much else, so I will cut this short and say to my pal: my love and best wishes are winging from me to you, today. Thanks for being a friend and mentor of sorts in this fine business. I hope for many more years of trading book-tales with you.

i have spent SOOO much money buying books from the outsifde of Kenny's shop. it's one of the great places
My friend Sue loves it there too - when browsing the outdoor bookstalls she says she feels like she is shopping on ze Left Bank.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?