Thursday, August 12, 2010

New England Mobile Book Fair

[Photograph by Michael Leddy.]

The squat, featureless warehouse — originally a tennis-racket factory — is surrounded by retail clothing stores and restaurants serving the affluent western suburbs of Boston. With only modest indication of what wares are inside, the independent bookstore still outsells each of the four superstores in the area. Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder (New York: Back Bay Books, 2007).
The New England Mobile Book Fair, in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts (hereafter, the NEMBF) is not mobile, nor is it a fair. Its distinctive feature is that it organizes almost all new books into hardcover and paperback sections by publisher. That scheme allows for all sorts of chance discovery. I found William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley by browsing New York Review Books. And from the same publisher, Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece for Elaine. The photograph above shows a relatively small part of the whole: the floor stretches at least as far in the other direction. More photos can be found at the store’s website.


The New England Mobile Book Fair closed, apparently for keeps, in 2020.

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