Alright guys, I’m about to launch another series on The New England Life. I keep finding these hidden gems all through out the region and hate that I’ve only been sharing them via social media. I feel like they need more love than just an Instagram post.
While taking my lunch break a few weeks ago, I went on a stroll around the neighborhood. As I turned around the corner of the huge Macy’s in downtown Boston, I actually squealed with excitement when I saw what I had stumbled upon. My inner bookworm was spazzing. Yes, I had just come across one of America’s oldest book stores. How old, you ask? Well, it was founded in 1825. That’s 25 years before California was even made a state.
While doing some research on the shop, I came across a video on the book shop’s website. My favorite line from one of the employees: “We specialize in not specializing.” Seriously, they have everything. Another a-mazing line? “You could buy 1,000 $1 books, or one $10,000 book.”
As I skimmed through the outdoor book shelves (I’ve never seen anything like it), I came across a little battered mint green book. I knew I was originally drawn to it due to the binding’s color (I’m obsessed with mint green & anything vintage). Lo and behold, I open the cover and realize I just came across “The Adventures of Oliver Twist,” a version that was published in 1875.
Best yet, it was only $5.
HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING? A 140-year-old Charles Dickens book, just chillin’ on a book shelf in the middle of downtown Boston, being sold for five bucks.
And to add just a bit more charm, in the most beautiful script, a previous owner signed their own name on one of the first few pages: Alice L. Hughes, Jan 22, 1914.
As I’m sure you already predicted, I immediately ran inside to purchase my tiny treasure. I take a quick peek at my phone and see that my lunch break is soon over. Ugh, but I want to look through every shelf. Damn it.
Luckily, only two blocks from my workplace, I know I’ll be returning shortly.
To visit, stroll on over to 9 West St., Boston, MA (just a few blocks from the Boston Common)