Best of Boston

BEST Bookstore

2001 BEST Bookstore

Brookline Booksmith


As megachains and the Internet continue their assault on small retailers, we give thanks to every independent bookshop still out there fighting the good fight. And Brookline Booksmith reminds us why we love bookstores in the first place. From the… read more»

2001 BEST Bookstore, Specialty

Kate’s Mystery Books


Except for the rock tunes that blare from the speakers, this little shop of horrors seems right out of a WGBH Mystery! episode, with its Victorian architecture and hundreds of ceramic black cats peering down from the bookcases. A vast… read more»

2001 BEST Bookstore, West

New England Mobile Book Fair


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


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

Brookline Booksmith


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


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»

1999 BEST Bookstore, Suburban

The Concord Book Shop


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»

1998 BEST Bookstore, General, Urban

WordsWorth Books


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


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»