Friday, January 23, 2015

Booksmith bookmark

I like pulling down a book from a shelf and finding an old bookmark. How long had this one been keeping my place? Many years. Long enough for the top to have faded. The lower-right corner looks like a printing error.

As a student in Allston-Brighton-Brookline environs in the 1980s, I was a frequent visitor to Paperback Booksmith and Musicsmith. A bookstore and record store within easy walking distance and open late (look at those hours): it feels now like something from a dream life. My most vivid buying memories (and I don’t know why): LPs by The English Beat and The Specials.

Musicsmith is long gone, but Paperback Booksmith, now Brookline Booksmith, sails on. I’ve sung its praises in a previous post. Elaine and I have sometimes wondered whether, before we met, we were ever in the store at the same time. We are still customers whenever we visit Boston. And our son Ben now buys books at Booksmith. Who’da thunkit?

Here is an account of Booksmith and its founder Marshall Smith, with links providing more Booksmith history.

Now if I could only find one of the Gotham Book Mart’s Edward Gorey-designed bookmarks. Shelves, where are you hiding them?

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