1. Lucy Parsons Center
Jamaica Plain

Named after the radical labor organizer and anarcho-communist, Lucy Parsons Center is a nonprofit bookstore and community space dedicated to selling books, magazines, newspapers, and journals covering the progessive movement. In addition to informational books and publications, the volunteer-run shop also sells new and used books, Spanish-language books, and children’s books. The spot also serves as a meeting space for local activists and frequently hosts lectures, readings, and discussions on works by authors and revolutionaries like Angela Davis and Anuradha Ghandy.

2. Brattle Book Shop

With its iconic alley filled with shelves upon shelves of vintage books, there’s no way you can walk past Brattle Book Shop without taking a peak at what the famous store has to offer. Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest bookstores in America, dating back to 1825. The first two floors of the shop are filled to the brim with used books, while the top floor is known for its selection of rare and antique books, housing offerings including first editions and signed novels. Making the trip even better, Brattle is located steps away from the Boston Common, so find a shady tree and dive into your next read.

3. Papercuts
Jamaica Plain

Entering Papercuts is like walking into your quirky grandmother’s home; the inside is cozy and welcoming, covered in colorful and eclectic decor. The award-winning, woman-owned independent bookstore has been open for almost eight years and has an extensive collection of books equipped with detailed staff recommendations from their team of friendly professional booksellers. Pop in if you want to have an in-depth literary conversation or quickly pick up a book to read on a bench at nearby Jamaica Pond—Papercuts is the perfect place for every mood.

4. Raven Used Books
Harvard Square

Raven will fuel your book addiction at a fraction of the price, with its broad selection of about 15,000 used books that are practically in mint condition. The Cambridge store, which is merely steps away from the Harvard T, adds more than 1,000 books to its collection each week on topics ranging from philosophy, architecture, political theory, and more. The shop even has sections dedicated to books in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Owner John Petrovato believes in the art of searching for a book in person and therefore does not sell any of the store’s selection online. So get lost in the small but mighty and deeply eclectic shop, as this is the perfect place to discover a hidden gem.

5. Grolier Poetry Book Shop
Harvard Square

Grolier Poetry Book Shop is a bit of a landmark; like Raven, it is right near Harvard Square. Because of its prime location, the shop was frequented by famous Harvard undergrads and poets like Frank O’Hara and Robert Bly. Pulitzer Prize-winner Conrad Aiken even used to live above it. Over the course of its 95 year run, the shop has built a roster of distinguished regulars (Anais Nin and Seamus Heaney, for example) that led them to be deemed “friends of the Grolier.” And the shop lives up to its rich history, with wall-to-wall shelves of poetry books, myriad of events featuring local poets, and knowledgeable shopkeepers.

6. Seven Stars
Central Square

Many people feel the experience of scavenging through a bookstore is spiritual in itself, but this unique shop makes that feeling literal. Seven Stars is a metaphysical bookstore, specializing in New Age books with entire bookcases dedicated to Buddhism, Wicca, Kabbalah, and more. Along with the transformative and esoteric book selection, the store is filled with boxes of precious stones and crystals, with a staff waiting to explain concepts ranging from astrology to tarot. They’ll even print and interpret your birth chart for you for $10!

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