It gets dark early this time of year in Boston, so curb appeal relies as much on magical lighting as it does on store windows chocked full of books. Starting from the top, it's the Harvard Book Store (where shoppers flooded the aisles), Raven Used Books, which had a good number of serious shoppers as well, and the MIT Press Bookstore, which has moved to its new location on Massachusetts Avenue. I loved the quaintness of the MIT Press Bookstore's old location on Kendall Square, but perhaps it will grow into its new space.
I can hear you ask, "What did you buy?" At MIT, I purchased Donald Norman's Living with Complexity (2010) and the Harvard Book Store, I picked up William H. Gass' book of novellas and short stories Eyes (2015) and historian Alistair Horne's Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century (2015). There was some tempting offerings at Raven, but these books do have to be hauled back to Atlanta in a suitcase. One odd thing about Raven, is that it is next door to the Christian Science Reading Room, where I noticed that the woman on duty had her head on the desk asleep (or passed out? dead?) the entire time I was in Raven. I understand. The holidays can be exhausting.
Another strange coincidence is that everyone one of these authors I purchased is over 80 years old. Donald Norman turns 81 tomorrow on Christmas Day, William Gass is 92 and Alistair Horne is 91. I bet it makes older authors feel youthful when someone buys their books and gives it a serious reading.
Coincidently, I always wanted to open a Christian Science Reading room, except I didn't want to particularly carry books about Christianity. It would be a place you could sit quietly and read in a comfy chair or tattered sofa. There would be my books like The Book Shopper: A Life in Review and Down & Outbound: A Mass Transit Satire available to borrow and read. ( I got that market cornered.) No wifi for computers and maybe I would sell cups of average, self-serve coffee payable on an honor system. And if I am "on-duty" I would be allowed to rest my head on my desk for hours if needed and dream of new books to write like Donald Norman, William Gass and Alistair Horne obviously do.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.