Arnold Arboretum Bookstore. 125 Arborway, Jamaica
Plain, MA 02130. (617) 524-5383. http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu.The Arnold Arboretum, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, delights thousands of Bostonians and tourists every year with its expansive green acreage and living collection of woody plants. But did you know that the Arboretum contains a bookstore as well? A section of the visitor’s center sells books about the Arboretum’s history, as well as general titles about trees and tree-like plants. The selection may be small, but it’s a perfectly picturesque place to purchase your guide to forests of the Northeast.
Boing. 729 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (877) 264-6400. http://www.boingtoys.com. Primarily an independent toy store (no Barbies here!), Boing sells high-quality blocks, dolls, puppets, stuffed critters, construction toys, costumesÃ¢Â?Â¦and books. Their small but excellent selection in the back of the store ranges from board books to chapter books. Contemporary, classic and indie picture books dominate. The energetic staff loves kids and loves to help. They’ll even wrap your purchase, free of charge, in nifty colors and bows. Grooviest store ever – where else can you play with sample toys and read at the same time? Just don’t trip over the herds of kids.
Boston Book Company. 705 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (617) 522-2100. http://www.rarebook.com. Crammed up on the second floor of a storefront is the Boston Book Company, which specializes in antiquarian books and English literature. Many classics are available in many different bindings. Boston Book Company is also your source for books about China, Japan and Korea. Asian prints, exhibit catalogs and photography books give the store a unique focus on West Asian art. Prices on Asiana range from $30.00, affordable enough for the dilettante, to thousands of dollars for the museum-quality titles. Staff will perform assiduous searches if, for some reason, you cannot find what you want.
Jamaicaway Books and Gifts. 676 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (617) 983-3204. http://www.jamaicawaybooks.com. Billing itself as New England’s only multi-cultural bookstore, Jamaicaway delivers with its large selection of fiction and non-fiction from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Stock is particularly strong in books by/for African-Americans and the Hispanic community. Jamaicaway also offers an awesome selection of English/Spanish and Spanish kids’ books. Finally, the store also features cards, blank books and calendars by artists of color, so you’re sure to find a beautiful, unusual treasure for yourself or gift for someone else. Extremely courteous and prompt staff answer all your questions at this highly satisfying store.
Rhythm and Muse. 470 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (617) 524-1622. Wedged into the ground floor of a former house with a long switch-back ramp leading up to the front door, Rhythm and Muse has a suitably eccentric appearance for its eccentric contents. The store divides its stock between music CDs – a selection hand-picked by the proprietors, ranging from 1930s jazz to modern local rock – and books. While concentrating on contemporary fiction and trade paperbacks, Rhythm and Muse also has notable sections of gender/sexuality, poetry and local authors. Ask the clerks what’s cooking on the neighborhood literary scene. Rhythm and Muse offers frequent readings and signings. Nice people, funky store.
White Pine Rare Books Incorporated. 344 Pond Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (617) 524-2455.
http://www.abebooks.com/home/TOMAFAYGEH/. Open by appointment only, this small store operates out of the owner’s home. It sells rare and collectible books, including first editions, focusing on the Boston Transcendentalist movement and Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury Group. For discriminating collectors only.