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Brookline Booksmith’s major new expansion to be celebrated at October 14 ribbon-cutting

Brookline Booksmith’s major new expansion to be celebrated at October 14 ribbon-cutting

PRESS RELEASE

Premier New England independent bookseller adds 800+ square feet, significantly expands Coolidge Corner storefront and offerings in new, light-filled space.

BROOKLINE, OCTOBER 7 — Brookline Booksmith, one of New England’s premier independent booksellers and 2022 Best of Boston Gift Shop, invites the public to a festive ribbon-cutting to celebrate its September 2022 expansion that adds 800+ square feet and bountiful new book and gift offerings. The October 14, 5:00-7:00 p.m. ribbon-cutting event includes live music, food and drink, a raffle and guest speakers to toast the 279 Harvard Street store’s new space and deepened customer experience. “It’s a chance to thank our wonderful community,” says co-owner and co-manager Lisa Gozashti, “for bringing us to this joyous moment, and to reveal what their devotion helped us create.”

Brookline Chamber of Commerce representatives, including David Gladstone and Debbie Miller, will join Booksmith’s Jed Smith, president and son of founder Marshall Smith, Lisa Gozashti and Peter Win, co-owner and co-manager, for the official ribbon-cutting. Guests will enjoy food, drink and a themed cake made by pastry artist and Booksmith gift seller Ali Probolus. The live jazz, global and funk music performance will be led by Brookline Music School faculty. Customers willing to share their feedback or new ideas tied to the expansion will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Booksmith gift card.

Booksmith’s added space, leased from the Tuck family, designed by local architect Glenn Morris of Morris Architects and renovated by Elaine Construction, was previously occupied by Dependable Cleaners, which departed in 2021 to focus on its other locations. Morris’s design, created in close collaboration with the Booksmith team, brings the store a more open layout and a continuous stretch of storefront along Coolidge Corner’s busy Harvard Street. It reveals soaring ceilings, preserves a vintage brick wall with arched windows, and floods the store with natural light.

Brookline Booksmith’s major new expansion to be celebrated at October 14 ribbon-cutting

Smith says, “Reaching this moment in spite of the pandemic is no small thing. We owe so much to our loyal book-loving community and to our incredible staff. Everyone, really, came together to create this magic.”

“Most importantly,” says Alie Hess, head book buyer since 2000, “we’ve filled this beautiful space and the entire store with more of what our customers love. We have thousands of new titles, thoughtfully selected in all the most popular genres, including romance, science fiction, history, graphica and manga, kids' non-fiction, business, fiction, mystery, poetry, art and design, and bargain books — and we’ve added many expertly curated gift displays.”

The Booksmith’s Giftsmith, voted Boston Magazine’s Best Gift Shop of 2022, offers what Kerri Budryk, the store's head gift buyer since 2005, calls “an emporium of treasures to enrich and inspire lives.” "We strive to create a beautiful and inviting setting, where gifts are thoughtfully curated to complement our various book sections,” says Budryk. "The new space enables customers to find even more variety in our well-loved gift sections. We've broadened our collection of home goods, such as candles, frames, rugs, throw pillows, and more, to keep harmony with our expanded Design and Art books. Esoterica has grown as well creating an ethereal corner of tarot decks, books, and even more mystical, magical gifts. We hope the new space brings as much happiness to our beloved Brookline community as it has to all of us."

Gozashti, a 23-year Booksmith veteran, says, “The store is more energized and refreshed than I have ever seen. Every aisle now leads to a new discovery—a special collection, an expanded genre.”

The store’s newly widened main entrance area sets the tone: it is now lined on both sides with generous displays of current hardcover fiction and nonfiction releases. The store’s information desk is close by. Three additional table displays of bargain books are set among the popular table displays of favorites and new paperback releases. Shelves lining the wide, well-labeled aisles offer many of the thousands of new titles now stocked. At the back, as before, is the well-loved large kids’ section, its reading areas sheltered under the branches of artist Diane Bigda’s fanciful tree sculpture.

Where the gift and book areas begin to flow together, almost an entire wall is now dedicated to graphica and manga, two of today’s fastest-growing literary genres.

“When Marshall founded Paperback Booksmith back in 1961,” says Booksmith mission director Caity Meaney Burrows, “his slogan was: ‘dedicated to the fine art of browsing.’ That ideal has always led us, and it’s truly elevated now. I think he’d be really proud.” Marshall Smith passed away in May of this year.

With his spatial and set design expertise, Longtime Booksmith bookseller Paul Theriault played a vital role in envisioning the new space and orchestrating the Tetris-like floor moves. "Along with all our customers, I'm sure, I couldn't wait for all the drop cloths to come down and the noise to stop. It is so much better than any of us could have hoped for. And it's truly gratifying to watch it come to life, now that folks are finally moving through this space that had existed in our imaginations for so long."


About Booksmith, in the words of co-owner and co-manager Lisa Gozashti

“Brookline Booksmith is an independent bookstore thriving in the heart of Coolidge Corner since 1961.

We offer our customers a finely curated selection of new, used and bargain books; a gift selection that just won the coveted Best of Boston Award; an award-winning events series that includes the groundbreaking Transnational Literature Series; three book clubs; and locally crafted delicacies. In everything we do, we strive to foster a love of the written word, represent a diverse range of voices and histories, engage with our community, and inspire conversations that have the power to open minds and enrich lives.
 
Multi-generational family ownership and committed, knowledgeable staff help us deepen our place in and dedication to our community, and we are grateful to have become a beloved destination. Visitors are encouraged to browse freely; engage with a wide variety of voices and literary traditions and genres; and experience the joy of a beautiful space cultivated in their honor with rigor, creativity and intention. We draw inspiration and direction continuously from our neighbors; we nurture reciprocity and trust through our treasured connections, and we host impactful in-store fundraising for local causes.
 
Decades of dedicated stewardship have shaped our collective perspective, enabling us to face our challenges and opportunities as a neighborhood business with openness, kindness, and a huge love for the work we are privileged to do. Our enduring success is a gift our customers and loyal fans bestow upon us every time they choose to come through our doors and share with us the incalculable benefit of their attention.”