A Walk Through Boston…

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I walked into South Station in Boston and noticed right away – Barbara’s Booksellers is gone.  It wasn’t a surprise. A small store selling full priced books is clearly not a model for business success in 2013, but I was still sad. Like many fellow travellers, I enjoyed hanging out there while waiting for my train, and sometimes I’d buy a paperback just to “vote with my wallet. ” But I always wondered how they were surviving.

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As I walked towards Downtown Crossing, I thought about two other stores that used to be in that part of Boston. Here they are today:

The Walgreens store used to be a huge Borders where I spent hours looking at new releases and flipping through magazines. Of course, Borders was one of the victims of Amazon and e-readers, so Walgreens stepped in. There will always be a need for Advil and shampoo!

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The other picture is more depressing, but historically interesting. The building with the Chipotle sign opened its doors to sell books in 1828 and was the home to a succession of book retail and publishing businesses. Between 1982 and 2011, it was the site of the Globe Corner Bookstore, a store totally dedicated to selling maps and travel-related books. Now it is totally devoted to burritos, but at least the beautiful building is still standing…

I continued walking towards Fanueil Hall (where there used to be a Waterstones) and realized there wasn’t one place I could buy a copy of We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. I could just download it onto my Nook, but I kind of want to read it as a “real” book.  My enthusiasm for Bulawayo’s book is based totally on this week’s glowing New York Times review by Michiko Kakutani. Here’s the link – and Happy Weekend!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/books/we-need-new-names-by-noviolet-bulawayo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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