As I mentioned in my last post, my boyfriend and I took a little trip to Boston earlier this week! It’s one of my favorite cities, and it was really fun to relive some childhood memories walking by Paul Revere’s house and visiting the Make Way For Ducklings statues in the Common — as well as to create new memories cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway and taking a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery.
Although we were only in Beantown for two days, we still managed to fit in some book tourism! (Tom is wonderfully accommodating of my nerdiness.) The first day, we visited the Boston Public Library. According to Wikipedia, it was established in 1848 and is the first publicly supported municipal library in the U.S., the first large library open to the public in the U.S., and the first public library to allow people to take borrowed materials home to read. It contains 8.9 million books and AV materials and is the second largest public library in the country (following the Library of Congress)!
We only stopped in for a few minutes, but we managed to stumble upon the most beautiful courtyard, complete with arched walkways, refreshing greenery, and a soothing fountain. I could have spent hours there, sitting at an iron patio table and enjoying this serene environment in the midst of the busy city, but alas we had to be moving on!
On our last day in Boston, we took the T out to Cambridge to visit that most famous of American universities… Harvard! Our first stop was the Harvard Book Store, a privately owned, independent bookstore where my self control gave in to my desperate desire for MORE BOOKS. MORE! Of course, I was able to rationalize my purchases with the fact that I did not pay full price for any of the four books I bought. One of the Remainders tables had a pretty good selection — I purchased A Passage to India by E.M. Forster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace for less than $6 each and managed to pass over other books by Jonathan Franzen, Umberto Eco, and Tom Perrotta (okay, so I retained a little bit of self control). Definitely the best selection of remainders I’ve ever seen! And of course, I couldn’t stay away from the Select Seventy shelf, which offers top titles at a 20% discount — I picked up State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and Blue Nights by Joan Didion.
My final act of nerdiness was to have Tom take my picture reading on the steps of Harvard’s Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library. I imagine this is how Harvard students (or the Wicked Smaht People Across the Rivah, as they are known in Boston) read. SUPER INTELLECTUAL!
Does anyone else like to check out the bookish sites while traveling? Have you visited any great bookstores, libraries, authors’ homes, etc?