04 December 2014

For Want of a Bookstore

I've gone downtown to do errands three out of four days this week. Monday I needed to go to the bank, and yesterday and today I had to drop off packages on their way to people who bought stuff I'd listed on eBay. (Being able to print the postage at home is great, no waiting in line at the post office—as long as said post office has an automated package center with the big drop bin.)

Of all the jobs I've had, I only worked downtown for a few months once, but I've spent plenty of time around there over the years. In recent years though, not so much, so sometimes when I walk around it seems like things have changed more dramatically than they perhaps seem to others who are around there more regularly.

For example, yesterday it occurred to me that since the Borders closed a few years ago, there is no general bookstore. There's the Brattle Book Shop and Commonwealth Books, but both deal in used books. It's really sad and unfortunate that the area couldn't seem to sustain a bookstore.

But as has happened in other cities, Downtown Crossing is seeing an influx of residential units in both new construction and redevelopment of existing buildings. In a few years there will be at least a couple thousand people living in the area, and perhaps then it will make sense for the return of a bookstore as an amenity residents will want.

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