A Book Lover’s Guide to Boston, Massachusetts

Last year we did a post on A Book Lover’s Guide to Lisbon, Portugal. This time we covered Boston, Massachusetts. Have you been to any of the locations we mention? Let us know in the comments.

All pictures used in the post belong to us!

1. The Coop

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The Coop is a bookstore in Harvard Square. While technically in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it’s easily accessible from Boston’s red line. The Coop has four levels of books on every subject and a lot of Harvard merchandise. 

One of the best things about the Coop is all the tables spread out. It’s a nice place to relax with a book. The Coop has been around since 1872 and it’s not to be missed if you’re heading to Harvard’s campus! 

2. Boston Public Library

Located in the Back Bay neighborhood, the Boston Public Library has been around since 1848. The building itself is beautiful and as soon as you walk inside your jaw will drop. If you live in Massachusetts, it’s easy to get a library card. 

3. Old Corner Bookstore

This place is bittersweet. The building itself has been around since the 1700s and it became a bookstore in 1828. Sadly, today it is a Chipotle.

While it’s not worth going out of your way, this former bookstore is right on the Freedom Trail and easy to find. It’s an important location for fans of history and literature because it became a meeting-place for Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens. 

4. The Parker House

Right down the street from the Old Corner Bookstore is the Parker House, the longest continually run hotel in the United States. This was also a place for New England literary elite to meet up. The Parker House invented the Boston Cream Pie and Parker Rolls. So go in for a bite and think about all the greats who sat in the same spots. 

5. Boston’s Public Garden

Not only does the Public Garden house the Swan Boats and provide amazing views of the Back Bay, it also has the Make Way for Ducklings statues. Robert McCloskey published the book Make Way for Ducklings in 1941 as a children’s book. 

Today, you’ll find kids and adults waiting to take pictures with the statues. It’s a beautiful place to walk around.

6. Harvard Yard

Harvard Yard is a great place to be in the summer. Colorful chairs spread across the yard make it the perfect place to read outside while surrounded by amazing architecture. 

If you’re touring campus, marvel at the amount of libraries on campus. Specifically, Widener Library shouldn’t be missed. It opened in 1915 and houses around 3.5 million books. 

7. Used Bookstores 

All around Boston and Cambridge you’ll find a great selection of used bookstores. Brattle Book Shop in downtown Boston can be easily found because of the giant pencil outside. Another great place is Raven Used Books near Harvard Square, which is named after Edgar Allen Poe. These are many other great shops you can find with a little exploring. 

8. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

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JFK is still celebrated in Boston. His Presidential Library and Museum is located right on the water on the border between Southie and Dorchester. This is the perfect place if you’re a history buff. Learn about Kennedy’s life and see various documents from his presidential administration. Strangely, there is also an Ernest Hemingway Collection at the library, featuring some of his personal papers. 

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

19 thoughts on “A Book Lover’s Guide to Boston, Massachusetts

  1. I was just in Boston earlier this month for the first time! I didn’t get around to any bookstores, and it was a Sunday so the library was closed. But the next time I go I’m keeping these in mind, especially the Harvard areas because I’d like to see that next!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Went to a little Harry Potter shop, Quincy Market, and got lost a little walking because my friend’s gps cut out for some reason and led us the wrong way😂 Plus we had brunch at Cheesecake Factory and ended up eating at Cheers later on🙃

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  2. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to Boston, but considering the fact that it’s less than 10 hours of driving time from me, it’s definitely something I need to do in the near future. Hopefully this autumn, I’ll get a chance to show off New England to my husband and include some of these bookish Boston spots in the mix!

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