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Why Bookstores?

By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  November 23, 2010

"The relationships that our booksellers have with our customers is really extraordinary," Gillian Kohli tells me in a phone call from her office. "It really feels individual and pretty special."

Kohli and her husband Bill purchased the Wellesley Booksmith in September (former owner Marshall Smith is gearing up for retirement; he still owns the Brookline location). Neither Bill nor Gillian had ever owned a store, or even worked a register. "Neither of us had any experience in retail, let alone the book business. I had not been working for a long time."

But they didn't want to see the store close.

"It would have been a big loss to the town," Kohli says. "It seemed like the obvious thing to do."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at ewilliamson[a]

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Books, Harvard Book Store, Brookline Booksmith,  More more >
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2 Comments / Add Comment


Please go beyond Cambridge and Brookline to Back Pages Books in Waltham. You will see why independent books stores not only are surviving, but are an integral part of a community.
Posted: November 23 2010 at 8:01 PM

Jenny Milchman

I am really enjoying reading this article, and having my long ago prediction about a local bookstore resurgence confirmed :)

Your readers might be interested in a new holiday this year, the first annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Please visit to add your own local indie--and help spread the word!
Posted: November 29 2010 at 8:00 AM
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