Harvard Bookstore Warehouse Sale: Must-do in Boston

Let’s be real: 95% of those in law school are (open or undercover) nerds, the ones who love learning, the kids who would read books for fun as soon as they learned how to read. I’m no exception, and while reading 286 Constitutional Law cases temporarily dampened my desire to read other books for fun, summer is here and that means leisure reading is back in business!

In late May my boyfriend and I finally found the time to head to Brookline Booksmith, just a ten minute walk from our apartment. This legendary and classic Coolidge Corner staple did not disappoint. It reminded me of Barnes & Noble by the way they carried anything and everything, but has that local and independent feel that can’t be beat. Also, they have multiple discount tables, which is music to a poor law student’s ears! The tables featured books I hadn’t heard of and plenty that I had, including “Everyone Brave is Forgiven,” a recent release that was getting a lot of coverage on the blogs I follow. Brookline Booksmith is the perfect place to pick up that book you’ve been waiting to read in addition to discovering a book you hadn’t known you wanted!

And now, here’s the real secret I’m sharing with the rest of you bibliophiles: the Harvard Book Store has a warehouse sale. And it. Is. AMAZING. This event probably isn’t a secret to anyone who has lived in the Cambridge/Somerville area, but when my boyfriend and I discovered it a few days before the sale it felt like the most amazing thing we had ever stumbled upon. It’s a two-day, all-day event and is located at their warehouse in Somerville.

The warehouse sale was what dreams are made of. You walk in and take in two massive rooms stocked with library-esque bookshelves and tables in-between. It was remarkably well organized by section, and featured everything from novels to old textbooks. All the books have price-tags that are heavily reduced, and then you get a 15% discount on top of that. I think I got a book for $1, no joke. Some of the used books are discounted up to 70%. Together my boyfriend and I got 14 books (and this was after putting quite a few back) and spent $60. That evens out to a little more than $4/book, which not even Amazon can beat. And we shopped local, which is huge!

My favorite part of this sale is that we got 14 books that neither of us had ever heard of before. There were certainly books I had seen rave reviews about and classics scattered among the shelves, but we used this opportunity to really shop outside of our GoodReads “want to read” list. He got mostly historical fiction and non-fiction, while I got a mix of novels and international relations books. I was even tempted by an old law textbook (it wasn’t a casebook, I promise I’m not that boring) but figured I would have enough textbooks to read next year.

All in all we had an amazing time perusing the shelves and growing our library. And we also came out with a stack of books as tall as my torso. So, that was pretty exciting too. I’m not sure if this sale is yearly or semi-annually, but I know we’ll be back each time they have it. If you’re in Boston in June keep your eyes peeled for the announcement, because this is an event you won’t want to miss!



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