Best Bookstores in Cambridge, MA
Synonymous with higher education, Cambridge, MA is home to many of America’s finest universities. With leading institutions like Harvard and MIT within its boundaries, Cambridge is one of the nation’s academic and research centers. And while academics are increasingly flocking to the Internet and libraries for research, there is still a need for good old-fashioned bookstores in Cambridge.
Here’s a look at some of the city’s finest.
Locally owned and independently run, the Harvard Book Store first opened its doors in 1932. Known for an extensive selection of new and used books, the Harvard Bookstore also hosts an ongoing event series, featuring award-winning authors like Chuck Klosterman, Amber Tamblyn, and Chris Anderson (TED Talks). More than just a bookshop, the Harvard Book Store is a community staple and a bastion of intellectual curiosity.
From Harvard Square, we move on to nearby Porter Square and Porter Square Books, another independently owned and operated Cambridge bookstore. Focusing on boutique publishers and emerging authors, Porter Square Books is also home to its Café Zing, which serves locally sourced baked goods and fair trade coffee.
Smack in the middle of Central Square, Rodney’s Bookstore is home to some 45,000 titles, most of which are of the used and discounted variety. Beyond its extensive collections, Rodney’s also boasts over 6,000 poster reprints for sale, and for the avid book collector, Rodney’s also sells pine shelving units for storing your growing collection of volumes. Custom printing is also available.
Kendall Square is home to the MIT Press Bookstore, which, coincidentally, is owned and operated by the MIT Press, the non-profit, scholarly publishing program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located on the MIT campus, the MIT Press Bookstore specifically stocks the books and journals they publish, but there is also a handpicked selection for outside publishers in related fields. Better suited to researchers, the MIT Press Bookstore is ideal for those interested in specialized fields of science, technology, and engineering.
Founded in 1989, Pandemonium Books and Games is more than just a bookstore. Yes, Pandemonium sells a wide selection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles, but beyond the stacks, they also carry board and role-playing games. An unconventional bookstore, to say the least, Pandemonium also hosts tabletop game competitions and tournaments. It’s a safe haven for Star Wars, Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts and hobbyists.
Just a few of the dozens of bookstores in Cambridge, these retailers cater to every level of reader, from casual fiction fans to serious researchers, and are sure to have any title you desire.