|Barrow Book Store - Concord MA|
Bearly Read Books
I left the buzziness of Route 9 via peaceful, tree-lined Edgell Road towards Route 20, where I got to Bearly Read Books in Sudbury about 10 minutes before they opened. After an hour I had seen three book shops and been inside none. Thankfully, they opened at their scheduled time of 10 AM.
The shop has been around for about 25 years, with the new owners operating it for the past five years. It’s an impressive antiquarian and rare book shop with about 40,000 books on hand, but it also has more generic used books, and some at very reasonable prices. They also have a great section of signed books.
I got The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub and Inadmissible Evidence by Philip Friedman. Even though the owners were away, the person minding the store was helpful and knowledgeable.
I left Bearly Read Books and proceeded toward Acton, about 20 minutes away, to Willow Books. I hadn’t been there before, but had meant to stop in. It’s a large building, which they share with an insurance company. The store was bright and cheerful. It reminded me of Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough. It has a café for coffee and a muffin, clean rest rooms, and a big kids section. There was a good display of local authors and near the front door was a big section filled with bargain books.
The used book section is strictly paperbacks, so it was not interesting to me. But, if that’s what you are looking for, you can get started on buying and selling books back to them for credits on future purchases. That’s great for the locals, not so much for vacationers to the region.
I picked up The Last Founding Father: James Monroe by Harlow Giles Unger. I had previously read his book about Lafayette. I also got The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong. Both books were $6.98 in the bargain rack. I picked up some other books as well. The day was getting better.
Second Hand Prose
Just a few minutes up the road I got to Second Hand Prose. The shop has been there for over 20 years. It’s got a nice selection of paperback and hard cover books. It offers an interesting buy-back program where you get one sixth of the cover price for books you turn in and eventually get your purchase price down to one fourth the cover price based on credits you’ve earned. Don’t worry; they will explain how it works. The hundreds of customers that have cards on file are testimony to the successful discount strategy.
Barrow Book Store