Best of Boston

BEST Bookstore

2001 BEST Bookstore, West

New England Mobile Book Fair

Newton

Inside this family-run warehouse are miles of floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with almost any book you desire. Even better, the staff not only finds what you’re looking for in a flash, but also will give you a review (and quickly order… read more»

2000 BEST Bookstore

Tie: Brookline Booksmith; New England Mobile Book Fair

Brookline; Newton

Even with so many local book shops sadly fallen victim to the megachains and the Internet, we still are blessed with two independents, very different from each other, that deserve the label “best.” Booksmith’s great speaker series and quirky newsletter… read more»

2000 BEST Bookstore, Used

Boston Book Annex

Boston

Like a portal to Narnia, a door below street level reveals an impossibly boundless collection of used books, neatly organized into hundreds of irresistible categories, including “espionage,” “nature writing,” and “UFOs.” Two cats doze near the front, and there’s quiet… read more»

1999 BEST Bookstore, Suburban

The Concord Book Shop

Concord

The historic town that produced such literary luminaries as Emerson, Alcott, and Thoreau seems destined to have the bookshop. And Concord does. Why go to a depersonalized megastore staffed by teenagers? This adorable gem, nestled in the heart of the… read more»

1999 BEST Bookstore

Brookline Booksmith

Brookline

Brookline Booksmith is dedicated to the art of browsing. This cozy store allows book lovers to curl up on the wood floor and thumb through their favorite tomes. Friendly staffers are eager to make suggestions—unlike the aloof or harried help… read more»

1999 BEST Bookstore, Gay

We Think the World of You

Boston

This delightful shop boasts a quirky selection, a white-hot reading series, a helpful and knowledgeable staff, and a magazine rack that recognizes there’s more to gay life than porn. read more»

1998 BEST Bookstore, General, Urban

WordsWorth Books

Cambridge

Much more than best-sellers and self-help, this complex two-store shrine to the written word stocks and discounts almost everything from Aristotle to Zagat’s. Books are displayed in a way that makes bibliophiles quiver— it’s kind of a cocktail party for… read more»

1998 BEST Bookstore, General, Suburban

Borders

As much as we hate to say it, Borders is elevating the culture quotient in the suburbs. If only it weren’t a chain. Live jazz and book signings, readings by local authors, and generally knowledgeable sales help. The stores are… read more»

1998 BEST Bookstore, Specialty

Globe Corner Bookstore

Boston

This is the place to satisfy literary wanderlust, from Boston to Bangladesh to Beijing. Seating makes longer browsing more comfy. And the staff doesn’t seem to mind, even when you pull out a pad and take notes on hotel and… read more»

1998 BEST Bookstore, Cookbooks

New England Mobile Bike Fair

Newton Highlands

Nobody has a more luscious selection of cookbooks than this mammoth warehouse on the Newton/ Needham line. Your 15-year-old just became a vegan? Hosting 60 people for Indonesian rijsttaffel? Next aisle. The shelf for French cookbooks alone is 12 feet… read more»