Saturday, August 18, 2007

I don't often come away from Harvard Book store with this good a haul. The good old days, as I've probably lamented here before, are long gone in Harvard Square. No more Wursthaus, no more Star Book Shop, no more Science/Fantasy Book Store, no more Macintyre and Moore book store; that great little diner where Matt Damon wooed Minnie Driver in Good Will Hunting, gone; Elsie's Sandwich Shop, gone, etc.

At least the Border Cafe is still going strong, and Cardullo's and Charlie's Kitchen, and Uno's, and even the Hong Kong, believe it or not.

One of the bad side effects of the greed that took over real estate developers in Harvard Square and drove out the cool spots and left just one independent book store--is that it encouraged Harvard Book store to push prices up for their used books. Which is annoying. It further encourages people to go with Amazon rather than indulge in the pleasure of browsing and looking for treasures.

I don't usually find much anymore, but last night I came away with a minor gold strike, particularly so since most of the books are relevant, one way or another, to what I'm writing now: a collection of essays on science and religion edited by Ian Barbour; Mankind Evolving by the late great Theodosius Dobzhansky; Galileo, A Philosophical Study by Dudley Shapere; and Thomas Becket, a biography by Frank Barlow; and to top it off, the collected short stories of V.S. Pritchett.

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