The Thrifty PostGrad: Brattle Book Shop

Hello Readers! Today we will be giving you a treat from Chelsea Regan over at Post Grad Apartments. Chelsea is about to graduate from Boston College and join the wonderful world of Post Grad. She contributes to several sections of Post Grad Apartments for the Boston chapter including some amazing neighborhoods we plan on checking out next time we are over there. We hope you enjoy her post about thriftiness!

As I’m about to graduate from college, and thinking about going on to grad school, there’s something I’m starting to regret. Why did I sell so many of my books back to the school?

The answer of course is fast cash that always seemed to appear out of thin air. But it started to strike me that in the future the wealth of my book collection will matter more to me than the petty cash I’ve collected at the end of every semester. I posed the question to myself of how I was going to fund replacing the books I should have held onto, and also less academic future buys. Answer: used booksellers.

I found Brattle Book Shop - a bookseller on an understated street that provides a passageway between Boston Commons and Washington Street at the heart of Boston.

The shop houses an impressive collection of rare and out of print books – many which could really cost you. A few steps passed the humble building is an extension of the used and antiquarian book collection within. However, these books are sold at budget-friendly prices.

Rows of aluminum bookcases on wheels line the spacious lot. Books of every genre you can imagine rest on these humble holdings. Fiction from the Renaissance through to present day John Grisham thrillers, non-fiction works from psychology to autobiography, Bibles and Korans; you name it you can find it at Brattle. The costs of the books are clearly indicated by color-coded stickers.

If you’re lucky you can find the signature of a previous owner on some of the older books. On my last trip there I picked up an 1884 copy of Shakespeare’s Macbeth signed by a Mr. George A. Littlefield, and a 1945 hardcopy of Stuart Little that was tagged unsteadily in pencil by a child by the name of Muffy. The combo cost me less than ten dollars.

My humble suggestion to postgrads is to find a bookseller near you like Brattle to build your post-college book collection.


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