One of the first modern bookstores was opened in 1774 in London by James Lackington, who wanted to find a way to make books more affordable and accessible while making a profit.
He offered books at reduced prices, and later, in 1794, when he opened a huge bookstore called The Temple of the Museshe created salons, where he encouraged people to leaf through and read books.
Many of today’s bookstores take inspiration from the Temple of the Muses, offering discounted books and places to hang out, as well as food and author tours.
We asked readers where they go to find a good book. Read on to find out what they said.
An unlikely story in Plainville
At the top of the list was An unlikely story. Readers said the bookstore has a great selection of books and events and will specially order books they don’t have in stock. One reader said she loved everything in the store.
“The space is awesome, the staff is awesome, it’s nice to have the coffee there, the books are great, and so are the freebies,” she wrote.
An unlikely story is at 111 South St. in Plainville. Visit anunlikelystory.com/ or call 508-699-0244.
Titcomb Bookstore in East Sandwich
Next on the list was Titcomb Bookstore. One reader said it was her favorite for “so many reasons: lovely location, smiling and knowledgeable staff, active and creative social media, lots of community involvement, charitable contributions, great variety of books and gifts, but with plenty of room to move around in. And don’t forget the shop’s transformation in December into the sweetest of gingerbread houses.
Another reader said it was a “wonderful family bookstore” with a great selection of quality toys and free gift wrapping.
The Titcomb Bookstore is located at 432 MA-6A in East Sandwich. Visit titcombsbookshop.com/ or call 508-888-2331.
Jabberwocky Books in Newburyport
Jabberwocky Books was also a fan favorite.
One reader wrote that “the great selection of history books, biographies, gardening and cooking makes this store stand out.”
Jabberwocky Books can be found at Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St. in Newburyport. Visit jabberwockybookshop.com/ or call 978-465-9359.
Customer service, events, quality books score big when it comes to favorite bookstores
Customer service was one of the main reasons people like to shop at bookstores. The quality of books and events, including story times for children, also stood out. Here’s a list of bookstores readers liked, in no particular order.
Escape into fiction in Franklin
Escape into fiction scored points with a reader for the various titles offered by the store.
“[It is] a safe place to visit regardless of reading tastes or lifestyles – a judgment-free zone for readers,” she wrote.
Storybook Cove in Hannover
extolling the virtues of Storybook handle, a reader wrote that she had been buying books there for everyone, from babies to teenagers, for many years. She noted that the store also offers a variety of activities, including storytimes and book signings with local authors.
“I like the personal touch of the local book[store] that you don’t get in department stores and online,” she wrote.
Storybook Cove is located at 775 Washington St., Suite 2 in Hannover. Visit storybookcove.com/ or call 781-826-6060.
A reader who chose Brookline Bookstore said they were a “fun place to go, [with a] Good choice [and] convenient location.” She also finds the staff helpful in locating books they have in stock and ordering books that aren’t in stock.
Brookline Booksmith is at 279 Harvard St. in Brookline. Visit brooklinebooksmith.com/ or call 617-566-6660.
Books and “other great items” can be found at Wellesley Books, according to one reader. It also doesn’t hurt that the staff are knowledgeable and very helpful.
“My son was looking for a book and he could only remember the word eyeball was in the title and they figured out what book it was. And it was on the shelf,” she wrote .
Wellesley Books is located at 82 Central St. in Wellesley. Visit wellesleybooks.com/ or call 781-431-1160.
Porter Square Books in Cambridge
A reader wrote Porter Square Books “is always stocked with what I’m looking for and they support our school with book fairs.”
Porter Square Books is located at 25 White St. in Cambridge.
Visit portersquarebooks.com/ or call 617-491-2220.
Book Wonder in Medford
One reader particularly appreciated the selection of children’s books from wonder of the bookwhich she says feature various protagonists.
“They put together collections that are just when I don’t know what to choose,” she wrote.
Book Wonder is located at 392 Main St. in Medford. Visit facebook.com/BeBookWonder or call 617-312-2660.
Commonwealth Books in Boston and Newport, Rhode Island
Commonwealth Books lists its selection of used books. One reader said it was “very well organized and a great atmosphere”.
Commonwealth Books has two locations. One is at 9 Spring Lane in Boston. The second is at 29 Touro St. in Newport, Rhode Island.
Visit commonwealthbooks.com/ or call 617-338-6328.
Still more bookstores
The Little Bee Bookstore40 Main Street, Ayer
Whitelam Books610 Main Street, Reading
Water Street Bookstore125 Water Street, Exeter, New Hampshire
Arts and crafts376 Commercial Street, Provincetown
Ocean Village Bookstore – Road to Responsibility, Inc., 1831 Ocean St., Marshfield
The book rack13 Medford Street, Arlington
Paperback Junction619 Washington St., Southeast
Newtonville Books10 Langley Road, Newton
copper dog books272 Cabot Street, Beverly
The Gloucester Bookshop61 Main Street, Gloucester
Manchester by the book27 Union St., Manchester
Footprints Coffee LLC43 Main Street, Buzzards Bay
The Concord Bookshop65 Main Street, Concord
The Silver Unicorn Bookstore12 Spruce Street, Acton