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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

Boston is often considered to be one of the most literary cities in the U.S., so, it’s no surprise that Boston has some of the best independent bookstores in the country. To show a little appreciation for these magical places, I’ll tell you about some of the best independent bookstores in Boston and the surrounding area!

Brattle Book Shop

If you have visited the downtown Boston area, it’s hard to miss this used bookstore staple. Brattle Book Shop is sandwiched between the Theatre District and Downtown Crossing with over 250,000 books, prints, maps, and more at your disposal to buy and explore! They even have an outdoor area where (weather permitting) you can browse books of all genres ranging from $1-$5. It’s not difficult to get lost in the stacks, so allot plenty of time to explore this fascinating place!

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Are you looking for a quick bite to eat and a new release from your favorite author? If so, then Trident is your place! Trident is located on Newbury Street (super accessible both by walking and the T), so it’s always my go-to to pick up new releases. They also have a ton of fun novelty gifts and cards, which makes it the perfect place to go shopping for holiday and birthday gifts. 

Brookline Booksmith

If there’s a winner for the bookstore with the “best vibes”, Brookline Booksmith takes the gold. Since Brookline Booksmith is a bit far from Emerson, I don’t go as often as I should. However, when I do go, I can’t help but leave with a book or two. They also get the best authors for their book events (both virtual and in person), so make sure to look to see if your favorite author will be paying Brookline Booksmith a visit!

All She Wrote

Out of all the stores on this list, I am OBSESSED with this one! All She Wrote is a feminist bookstore located in Somerville (just off of the Orange Line). They specialize in books written by female and LGBTQ+ authors, and the atmosphere in the store is overall wonderful. The owner is really helpful to ask for book recommendations, and don’t be surprised if you end up spending more time (and money) in there than you planned! 

Porter Square Books

If you find yourself in Cambridge, paying Porter Square Books a visit is a MUST! As the name implies, Porter Square Books is located just a few minutes walk from the Porter Red Line stop. I always make sure to stop by if I’m nearby because I love how cozy it is inside. I even did an overnight readathon there in 2019, and I can confirm it’s even a magical place at 2 a.m.! I truly can’t recommend Porter Square Books enough. 

Olivia is a sophomore Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College. At any given moment, you can find her talking about books on her blog, petting dogs in the Boston Common, or impulse buying a plant or two. Ask her what musical she is currently listening to; she's dying to tell you.
Emerson contributor