At one point in my past, I believe it was when I was in college, I was somehow introduced to what became my favorite book store in Cambridge, MA. Harvard Square, to be exact. And whenever I happened to be in Harvard Square, I had to visit this store. I looked forward to it with such anticipation, like a child awaiting Christmas morning or a birthday, and never tired of what became fewer rare trips to the shop.
It was located on a side street and although I don't remember the name of it, I still remember the feeling I had as I approached the shop, with all the wonderful, and most importantly in those days when I was living at my economically lowest, cheap books inside. Almost as though it were a front for an illegal gambling joint, the upstairs consisted of an antique shop of some kind. I have very fuzzy memories of this part of the shop because it wasn't my focus of interest. Typically I would walk to where the joy and my reason for coming to the shop began, at the back of the store where the staircase downstairs was located that took me to the used books section.
I vaguely remember the first time I was brought here, not of course by who, but this person headed to the back to the staircase and I followed, going down the stairs and thinking we would find more of what was upstairs. But I was wrong. There were books, millions of used books, in row after row barely wide enough to get by. If you were bending down looking at the lower rows and someone approached, you had to stand to let them pass. And there were tiny rooms off the main room that housed the various topics of interest. I was mostly interested in Fiction and that is where I spent most of my time, in the main area. But I always found two or ten books that I had to have. And the best part was, these ten books might cost me a grand total of $4, maybe less. This was back in the 70's and 80's when paperbacks cost $2.50 or so, getting one for .35 was a gift. Often you could tell from the condition that they most likely had only been read once since they were in such good shape. The owner of the book store did not buy books that were in poor condition.
I will always have fond memories of this rare little book shop which I have no doubt, no longer exists. But I do, indeed, have my treasured memories.