woman pulling book off a bookstore shelf

We live in an age where anything can be delivered to your doorstep with a click of a button. But what you’re getting in convenience you often lose in experience. So move aside, Amazon Prime — there is nothing better than a brick-and-mortar bookstore, especially one that is independently owned. And there are a number of wonderful indie bookstores to be found in the Greater Boston area! Here is a roundup of some favorites.

Harvard Book Store :: Cambridge

A landmark in Cambridge since 1932, this bookstore offers a wide selection of new and used books, hugely popular author events, and an incredible warehouse book sale multiple times a year offering new books at steep discounts. Since 2020, the warehouse sale has shifted to a virtual sale — with many titles selling out very quickly.

Frugal Bookstore :: Roxbury

Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury is the only Black-owned bookstore in Boston! Owned by two bibliophiles who are committed to promoting literacy in children, teens, and adults, they will custom order any title not found on their shelves as long as it’s currently in print. Frugal Bookstore is known for its top-notch customer service.

Trident Booksellers & Café :: Boston

Newbury Street’s Trident Booksellers is always packed — and for good reason. The two-story shop offers detailed staff picks and recommendations if you’re in search of your next read, plus a bargain book table, a café featuring an incredible menu (including breakfast all day!), and fun and unique events, like themed trivia nights, silent book club and write nights, comedy tarot readings, and more. The upstairs event space can also be booked for private events.

Harvard COOP :: Cambridge

Right in Harvard Square, the COOP is not just for students of the Ivy League university. In addition to crimson-and-white apparel, the store offers a wide variety of genres — including drama and poetry. The downstairs children’s section hosts story times and crafts on weekend mornings.

Beacon Hill Books & Café :: Boston

One of the newest stores in Boston, this cozy shop is an idyllic hangout. It offers pop-ups, literary events, and a menu of locally sourced offerings. The store also boasts a good selection of activities for children, including story times and book signings.

All She Wrote :: Somerville

Located in Assembly Row, this is an intersectional, inclusive feminist and queer bookstore that supports, celebrates, and amplifies underrepresented voices. The displays are carefully and neatly curated throughout the store.

More Than Words :: Boston and Waltham

More Than Words is more than a bookstore — it’s a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers young adults, many who are homeless, court-involved, or in the foster care system. In addition to new, used, and specialty titles, this shop sells gifts, music, and clothing. Your purchases here fund the More Than Words programs while empowering youth — who work in the stores — to hone their skills!

Brattle Book Shop :: Boston

For those who love a good bargain or are in search of hard-to-find and out-of-print editions, Brattle Book Shop is the perfect spot. Right in the heart of downtown Boston, this is one of the largest and oldest used book stores in America! The store has two floors of general used books, a third floor of rare and antiquarian books, and an outside sale lot.

Brookline Booksmith :: Brookline

Located in Coolidge Corner, this seller has been a staple in the community since 1961. The first floor offers a huge selection across various genres along with tables of bargain books. Newly expanded, this floor also has a gift selection with jewelry, mugs, shirts, and other items for sale. There is a fun used book cellar downstairs.

Porter Square Books :: Cambridge and Boston

This “fiercely independent” bookseller has been selling in Cambridge’s Porter Square for nearly 20 years — and they recently added a Seaport edition! The events calendar at PSB is worth checking frequently — they host in-person conversations and book signings with authors almost daily! And their children’s story hours are always a hit, especially since authors are often in attendance.

An Unlikely Story :: Plainville

This spot may be a “destination” bookstore for those in Boston and further north — but for any “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” fans (and their parents!), it’s worth it! This bookstore was created by Julie and Jeff Kinney — the “Wimpy Kid” author himself — as a community gathering place where visitors can meet amazing authors, enjoy breakfast or lunch, and relax with a new book.

Lesley Moreau
Lesley grew up in New Bedford, MA, came to Boston for college, and stuck around. She holds a master's degree in criminal justice and an MFA in creative writing. Lesley is a playwright and has had her work produced in Boston, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Texas. Lesley lives in Dorchester with her husband and 3-year-old son. She is a proud and unapologetic "one and done" mom. Lesley loves traveling, true crime docs and inspired scripted series, reading, coffee, face masks, and family game nights.