South Station Boston

Books in Brewster, MA... and everywhere else...

...Mayhem at the little book shop in Boston’s South Station. Here, no one can sit on the floor or window ledges to read a book. “We could last time! They just don’t like kids!” Hand-written signs on every potential kids’ seat. I tried to explain. “This isn’t a normal book store; they want you to buy the book and get on the train, not just read books and leave.” My explanation did not squelch their frustration. In New York City, we visited an amazing exhibit of LEGO sculptures by Nathan Saway. The last exhibit room funneled us into a small, quiet gift shop where Will and Liam read LEGO books. Undisturbed for 20 minutes.

Book shops bring on a simple giddiness. They are one of the very few places where I’m not overwhelmed by choice. Perhaps it’s the freedom to choose or not to choose, unlike the overwhelming necessary choice of toothpaste and canned tomatoes at the grocery store.

On a summer morning day-trip to Brewster on Cape Cod, we scooped the kids into the van and were on the road by 6:30. I was ecstatic to be up and going so early. I was the only one experiencing early morning joy in the car… To cross the Sagamore Bridge, which connects mainland Mass. to the Cape, the Brewster Chamber of Commerce suggested timing our trip to cross by 8:00 a.m. Otherwise, with thick Cape traffic, it could take hours to cross.

An unfettered journey meant we were across the bridge a little over an hour from leaving our house north of Boston. Knowing we would be early at the Cape, we planned a stop at Brewster's Coffee Shop for breakfast. There were no lines at 8:00 a.m. We had breakfast alfresco at picnic tables. Families with dogs were particularly keen on this place. The food was good; patrons and dogs were friendly.

With time to kill before meeting up with friends late morning, we set out to explore after breakfast. Just a few minutes before it opened, we found The Brewster Book Store. Even from the outside, I could feel it was a place that welcomed drawn-out perusing. Perhaps even floor-sitting?

“Mom, look bean bags in the kids’ section!” And with that, I knew where Liam would be firmly anchored. The shop was a converted house: a room at every turn with books, stationery, gifts, and cards, including a birthday card that perfectly captured us book addicts:

“I do not want to just read books; I want to climb inside them and live there. – Anonymous.”

Yes. Like the little-remembered little people who lived behind the books on Capt. Kangaroo's book shelves. I think of those little people every time I arrange books on our shelves. And, sometimes I want to put a thimble and thread spool behind the books... just in case.