An Indie Bookstore that Resembles Heaven

Dear Readers…I have to issue a warning here.

I have many readers/followers/people-getting-my-blog-posts-clogging-their-RSS-feeds that are not from my area. Not from my state, time zone, or even country.

But, I hope, I have a few in my region.

To the first group, you’re about to be tortured.

To the second, I’ve found the Chocolate Factory, and Willy Wonka’s letting EVERYONE in. No Golden Ticket needed here, Charlie.

Here’s to hoping the owners of New England Mobile Book Fair don’t mind the free publicity/picture grabbing.

Nestled up in Newton Highlands of Massachusetts, this store is heaven on Earth. I wish I were exaggerating. Truly, I do, because I’m certain life does not get any better than this place.

I was told about this place by a friend of mine who works in the publishing industry (which becomes important later!) and decided to head up there on a lark this past Saturday.

Now, I’m a fan of independent book stores. Borders is overpriced, and of course now suffers from the slight handicap of being dead. Barnes and Noble is just as bad, except they’re a bit hard to find in my area. And while Amazon and I have shared a torrid love affair, they’re still a faceless company gutting the small bookstore industry. No delusions there.

But it must be said. Indie bookstores, while concentrated awesome, do have their failings. Their prices are only occasionally better than the big stores. Their selection is almost always lacking as they’re small, usually crammed into a small plaza on the side of a main route. It can be a bit difficult to navigate shelves that are usually mismatched and randomly organized.

These things cannot be said about New England Mobile Book Fair.

Pricing
Their prices? Guaranteed to be lower than any brick-and-mortar store.

“HOW, IAN?!” you scream, shaking your computer monitor, eyes ablaze with doubt and desperation.

Easy, my friend:
•20% off Hardcovers and Paperbacks Everyday
•30% off NY Times Bestsellers in Hardcover
Yeah. That. You know how occasionally Borders would offer some coupon? 10% a book! Weee! Or Barnes and Noble tosses out some sale. Buy one book, get another book half off! Ta-Da!!! Or even Amazon. 17.99 hardcover marked down to 14.99 because it’s brand-spanking-new? Woop-di-do!

New England Mobile Book Fair has made the play of saying ‘Yeah, no…’ and going with 20% of. Period.
Let me do the math for you.
I picked up 3 books. One hardcover, list price of $20. Two paperbacks, both priced at $10. For those non-mathematicians out there, that’s $40. I got out of the store for $32. Ran the numbers on Amazon out of morbid curiosity: $33.57 at their lovely site.

Yes. Amazon was higher. That includes tax at the store and free shipping from Amazon. 

Selection

I’ve included this here picture so you get the full extent of this place. This is not your closet bookstore. This is your book nirvana. This is you wandering down Needham Street thinking, ‘Gee, I wish there were a place with books here’, and the Massachusetts branch of Hogwarts opens up the Room of Requirement filled to the brim with them. I spent three hours wandering around this store and I’m certain there are still rows I didn’t go down.

Is there a book you’re looking for? They have it. Is there a book you heard of once that you might be interested in grabbing? Yeah, they’ve got it. Are you completely unsure of what book you really want and just want something to leap off the shelf? Yep. They have that book.


Organization
Okay. This one, I might give you. The New England Mobile Book Fair can be tricky to navigate. Why? Because a decent portion of the store is organized by publisher. Why do that? Because it works. Let me put it this way. I’m looking for classics. I want to pick up some Shakespeare, a little Dickens, and hey, why not some Beowulf? Normal bookstore? That means jumping around to different sections, usually. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll find a display with those books.

Nope. New England Mobile Book Fair cut that out. You can find the entire line of books printed by any publisher all organized together. I can’t tell you how many different sets I came across. I found it pretty helpful, and even interesting to look through the shelves organized by publisher. Means you can see trends in a publishing house. As a young adult writer, it was really intriguing to see the publishers that dealt heavily in YA and those that really didn’t.

Not to mention I had to giggle every time I saw  the ‘Random House’ section thanks to Maureen Johnson

And there are plenty of genre sections. Sci-fi, graphic novel, young adult, romance. Whatever your fancy.

~~
So where is this place? Just off 95 for you New Englanders:

82-84 Needham Street
Newton Highlands, MA 02461

I’m not going to make a habit of reviewing book stores. That seems pretty boring, if you ask me. But I so enjoyed this place that I felt the need to let anyone in the general vicinity know. If you have the chance to make the trip, GO TO THIS STORE. I promise you will not be disappointed. They gave me a loyalty card and I plan on filling the damn thing up really, really quickly…

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2 Responses to An Indie Bookstore that Resembles Heaven

  1. Tom says:

    Ian, As the new owner of the New England Mobile Book Fair, I want to thank you for your observations and more importantly for taking the time to come to the store and see for yourself that it's not just a book store but an experience
    Tom Lyons

  2. Ian Hiatt says:

    Thank you, Tom for having such a great slice of book heaven for us literary addicts. 🙂

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