Throughout the month of December, we have been telling you about our favorite places to shop for everyone on our lists. We told you about our go-to stores in the downtown neighborhoods of the South End, Back Bay and Beacon Hill; we traveled west to the indie-friendly towns of Brookline, Newton and Wellesley; and we gave out gift-buying tips on the North Shore and on the South Shore. We have pretty much shopped until we dropped (almost).
But we suspect that many of you have still not crossed off the final person on your list. For all of you last-minute shoppers out there, don’t battle the crowded malls or dig deep in the bargain bin at Best Buy. Do what we do, head right to your local bookstore, and start browsing! If you’re short of time (and believe me, you really are short on time), take a look at these great 2011 book lists from the Boston Athenaeum, New York Times and NEIBA., and then head to one of our favorite bookshops in the Greater Boston area, listed below.
Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge. A Harvard Square institution since 1932, this bookshop is home to a great selection of fiction, non-fiction, a great used book collection in the basement, and a book-making robot, Paige M. Gutenborg. You can also browse their shelves online in the middle of the night and head in on Christmas eve (TOMORROW!) to pick up your gifts.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge. A relative new-comer to the indie bookstore scene, Porter Square Books arrived with a bang a few years ago, and haven’t slowed down yet, providing great service, spot-on recommendations, and great author events.They also seem to be reading our minds, recently tweeting:
@portersqbooks: “Soon” is changing rapidly into “Now”, which will be followed almost insultingly closely by “Late.” #KeepCalmandGiveBooks
Newtonville Books, Newton. Tucked away in the Newton village of Newtonville, this indie powerhouse is a beloved community resource and a great place to find new book treasures. Get there today!
Wellesley Books, Wellesley. Known for their very helpful staff of booksellers and an outstanding children’s department, Wellesley Books is a great place for one-stop shopping in these last hours before Christmas. They sell cards and other gifts too! Just do it.
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline. The Booksmith is notorious for hiring some of the smartest book people in the Hub. Have a question? Need recommendations for your hard-to-shop –for crazy uncle? The Booksmith will lead you in the right direction.
Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston. Though we are huge fans of books (obviously), the Trident is also a great place to get inspired by cool magazines. Pick up a few unique ones here, then plan to gift a subscription—the ultimate last minute gift. There, you’re done. Go ahead and grab a beer at Trident’s bar.
Last, but definitely not least—don’t forget that a Union Park Press book is bound to make anybody on your list happy!
For the outdoor adventurer: Boston’s Gardens & Green Spaces
For the New England history buff: New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens
For the maritime explorer: Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands
For the Boston Sports Fan: The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston
For the Cape Cod lover or amateur oceanographer: Under Cape Cod Waters
For the expecting parents on your list: Boston Baby: A Field Guide to Urban Parenting or the newly released North Shore Baby: A Field Guide for Parents North of Boston