Posts Tagged ‘SOBs’

The following Spotlight on Bookstores post is written by Lori at Lori’s Reading Corner.  Lori is a prolific reader, who reviews about 3-4 books a week on her blog, which also features book giveaways, weekly memes and reading challenge updates.  She is a LibraryThing Early Reviewer, a chapter leader for PaperBackSwap, and a member of Book Blogs.

The New England Mobile Book Fair is where all good bibliophiles want to go when they die! 

The first time I walked in there I was beyond overwhelmed.  Located on the Needham/Newton line, the NEMBF is a GIGANTIC warehouse filled with – what else but BOOKS.  It’s impossible to walk in there and not come out with at least one book.  But most likely you’ll end up with a lot more than that.  Be prepared to set aside a good chunk of time when you plan to visit.  This is not the type of place to just “run in and pick up a book.”  Grab a basket and start roaming.

The warehouse is divided into three sections ~ Hardcovers, Paperbacks and Discount.  

The hardcover section is amazing.  You can find anything your heart desires.  They carry everything from brand new releases to travel to cookbook to kids books.  The shelves are loaded with just about any author you can hope to find.  The new releases are proudly displayed towards the front of the store.  While there are some loaded onto the shelves – the uniqueness of the book fair is that they’re also placed in boxes along the floor.  Each one loaded with those books you’re dying to get your hands on.

The discount room is fantastic for those looking for that extra bargain.  Thousands of titles line the walls.  The discount section is really the gem of the store just because there are a million cheap books in there that you never knew you needed but you cannot live without.  The set-up in here is a little looser than the other rooms, so you’ll need to have the time and patience to walk up and down row after row, looking for that perfect book.  But trust me, the hunting is well worth it!

Now on to my most favorite room – – the paperback room.  It’s a bibliophile’s dream come true.  Rows upon rows, boxes upon boxes of books.  Lining the walls, the floors, in racks and in every nook and cranny you can find.  You’ll find the newer paperback releases right at the entrance to this gold mine, making it easier if you’re looking for something that just came out.  It’s a great place to stock up on those authors you’ve been dying to try – or to find that book or two in a series you just don’t have yet.

One of the best things about the place is that all books at NEMBF are discounted.  All NY Times Bestsellers are 30% off the hardcover price.  All other hardcovers and paperbacks are 20% off — EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!  They even have their own buyer loyalty program.  For every $30 that you spend at the book fair, you receive a stamp.  Once you receive 12 stamps you receive a complimentary $20 gift certificate to use to shop at your hearts content!  They do accept all major credit cards, checks and of course, cash!

The book fair is about 2 miles off of Route 128, not far from the junction of Route 9.  While its physical location is not ideal (trying to turn left back out on Highland Ave is little like taking your life into your own hands and good luck finding parking on the weekend) these small hassles are well worth it.  Also, if you’re looking for the “homey” feel of a Barnes & Noble or other chain store, you won’t find that here.  There is no area to sit and check out a book, the floors are concrete and the rows narrow.  The goal of the NEMBF is not to have you sit, relax and read – but to buy, buy, buy!

My only real issue with the NEMBF (and something I didn’t realize the first time I went) is that everything is arranged by publisher, and then alphabetical by title.  Without knowing the publisher it’s sort of like finding a needle in a hay stack.  There are a few computers scattered around for you to look up the information on, and there is always a staff member near by to help.  What I have learned is to find the publishers of the books I like to read most (Berkley Crime – row 10A) and continue to visit those specific aisles.  Also, if there are books I’m just dying to get, I’ll spend some time on Amazon looking up the publishers and making myself a list.  It will save some time mindlessly wandering from row to row.  Unless of course time is not an issue J INSERT SMILEY

One of my favorite things about the NEMBF is introducing some new friends to it.  As the chapter leader for the MA group on PBS (www.paperbackswap.com) I am responsible for organizing our group get-togethers.  We have had several meetings now where we meet for lunch, chit chat, do a book swap and then head over for the real fun – shopping for books!!  I don’t think that anyone’s walked away from our meetings unhappy (or at least not that I know of).

If you’ve got an afternoon to kill or a rain/snow day where you just don’t want to stay home – take a ride over to the NEMBF and spend some time book shopping.  I can guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed.

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Introducing SOBs!

Lisa at Books on the Brain has a great series of posts and guest posts called In Praise of Book Clubs (IPOBC).  Each post highlights a book discussion group – how they came together, the story behind their name (if they have one), how they choose their books, what format their get-togethers take, etc.  It’s amazing how varied the book clubs can be – they each have a unique group personality.

I’d like to host something similar (Lisa agreed that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!) with posts highlighting bookstores.  This could be a local/independent bookstore, a favorite bookstore to visit on vacation, a “major book retailer” with an outstanding bookseller in the children’s department, even an out-of-the-way used bookstore where you’ve found great blasts from the past.

I have a new tab on my blog, SOBs – that’s Spotlight on Bookstores, not the other SOB!  This will link to post and guest posts on my blog, and be organized geographically.  It will be great to see this list grow and to be able to use it as a resource when travelling!

I’ve been working on my first post, for The Concord Bookshop in our town.  The weather has been rainy for days, so I’ve been unable to get any outside pics.  We’ll try again tomorrow, then post, with or without the shots of the front (I can always edit them in, later).

Are you interested in writing a guest post on a bookstore that has made your day?  Care to share a story about a bookseller that always helps you find what you’re looking for?  A shop that never fails to catch your eye with their window displays?  Leave a Comment and I’ll be in touch!

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