Jennifer Allen, HLS Library

I can never leave the Harvard Book Store (not affiliated with Harvard, just across from the Harvard campus on Mass Ave) without spending some money. The large picture windows in the front of the store have an excellent and thorough display of interesting new fiction and non-fiction. The people who work there clearly love books, and are very knowledgeable and friendly.

Ope Adebanjo ’20

I love roaming around the Harvard Book Store and the Harvard Coop located in Harvard Square. Sometimes when I have an open lunch hour, I enjoy grabbing a bite and walking through either bookstores’ multiple levels of exciting new releases and reliable classics. My roommates once got me a gift card to the Harvard Bookstore because they knew it would be a great treat (and difficult feat) to choose any book my heart desired.

Carol Steiker ’87

Raven Used Books – A few years ago this store moved from a below-ground space on JFK Street to a spacious, well-lit space on Church Street. I have a well-loved Kindle, but there is still no substitute for the feel of a book in hand. This is a well-curated collection of used books in excellent condition and at reasonable prices. Buy one (or more) and settle into one of the many great coffee shops within a block or two!

Josh Mathew ’19

Raven Used Books in Harvard Square has a fantastic selection, and the prices are excellent. I recently bought for $6 a pie cookbook as a gift for a friend, in hopes that said friend will soon bake me pies.

Kristi Jobson ’12

I visit Porter Square Books at least once a week. The space feels cozy, but the selection is great (and they’re always happy to order for you). The staff always has a good suggestion for you (check out their ideal bookshelves). The café inside the bookstore is famous for their spring rolls – the spicy peanut butter sauce is incredibly addicting. The Harvard Square bookstores might be the ones you see in travel guides, but PSB is the bookstore for locals. Case in point: I have run into Cambridge/Somerville authors Junot Diaz, Celeste Ng, and Grace Lin here. For the record, I played it totally cool, but my eight-year-old went right up to Grace Lin and asked for a photograph. All in all, it’s pretty much heaven if you like coffee, books, a friendly buzz, or all of the above.

Filed in: On and Off Campus

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