Best of Boston

2002 Best Bookstore

Harvard Book Store

Just can’t find that book you want? They’ll almost certainly have it here. One of the last of Harvard Square’s great independent bookstores, the Harvard Book Store is still run by the son of the man who founded it in 1932. It’s stacked to the ceiling with texts, including an expanded selection of popular fiction and nonfiction, but also highbrow and specialty works you’ll never find in the megachains at the mall. The knowledgeable staff will help you find the one you’re looking for, climb one of the rickety wooden ladders to retrieve it for you, and more than likely offer a review. Downstairs is one of the best remainders departments in the country, along with well-preserved used books. The New York Times and in-store bestsellers are 20 percent off, as are 50 titles each month recommended by the store’s buyers and booksellers; remainders are from 50 to 80 percent off the original price.

1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1515,