Student Snippets


Local Bookstore of the Week

Like the good librarian stereotype that I am, I left my two cats to visit David'sTEA (probably while wearing a cardigan) last Saturday when I stumbled upon Commonwealth Books in downtown Boston.  Right off the Freedom Trail, between the Old State House and the Old South Meeting house, this seemingly little bookshop is not little at all!

I had no idea that this bookstore existed until I noticed their covert sign pointing down the narrow alley to the shop's front door.  When I first moved to Boston, I had searched for local bookstores and hadn't seen this particular shop listed in Google Maps or in the many "Best Bookstores in Boston" lists online.  This bookstore might just be another great Boston secret.


At first glance, Commonwealth Books appears to be just another used book store a la Brattle Book Shop (another great shop near the Boston Common, if you're looking).  But take a few more steps inside their wooden store front and you'll notice an amazing selection of antiquarian items, including rows of old prints, engravings, and maps from New England and beyond.  I could have spent hours rummaging through these prints, and plan to return once finals are over and I'm on the hunt for one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.  Before visiting in person, you can even take a look at some "rare and unusual items" that the store offers on their website's "gallery."  In addition to these artistic items, Commonwealth Books hosts a large collection of used books relating to art and architecture, with other sizable collections for history, literature, philosophy, and religion titles. 


As much as I loved thumbing through the prints, I was even more amazed by the amazing selection of rare and antique books.  If you are interested in archives, museums, or just a normal human being who appreciates awesome old stuff, please visit this bookshop and admire the beautiful manuscript leaves for sale in the rare book section (located behind the large main desk).  There is so much to discover at this bookstore, and you might become a little overwhelmed - but not to worry!  Comfy armchairs are littered throughout the store in little book-lined nooks, perfect for reading that first chapter before purchase.


I was so excited to stumble across this used bookstore and had to share it with you all.  The city that Simmons calls home is so proud of its literary history, designating the first ever Literary District in any United States city just last month.  I hope that, if you are located in or around Boston, that you spend an easy Sunday afternoon visiting Commonwealth Books or any of the other magnificent used book stores in the Boston area.  For our online students far away from Massachusetts, I hope that you continue to support your local independent bookstores and used bookstores as well!