Belmont Books is an honest to goodness real mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar bookstore in beautiful Belmont, MA.
Why would we open a new bookstore in the age of Kindles, Kobos, iPads and eBooks? Because:
- Every town needs one;
- People still love to browse real books on real shelves;
- Traditional bookstores provide far more help, expertise and personal service than online ones;
- Studies have shown that readers retain far more information with physical books than with ebooks;
- Small town stores aren't just places to buy things you could easily get online. They're centers where people come together in the most impromptu, unorganized fashion and exchange views, ideas, stories, make new friends and find support they didn't know existed.
- Real bookstores often come with coffee shops. Try getting that on-line.
Belmont Books is owned by Kathy Crowley (mom) and Chris Abouzeid (pop). Both of us have fond memories of going to the local bookstore when we were young, feeling the excitement of being allowed to pick out one (maybe even two or three) books, racing home to read whatever new Roald Dahl or Judy Blume or Lloyd Alexander title we’d found.
Later, as adults living in Cambridge and Somerville, we were blessed to be in an area full of great bookstores: Harvard Bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, Wordsworth, Newtonville Books and–most especially–Porter Square Books. (Rumors that Porter Square Books employees kept track of their shifts by “Before Chris came in” and “After Chris came in” are greatly exaggerated.)
Sadly, when we moved to Belmont, the local bookstore had closed only a year or two before. (The giant parent company that owned it didn’t feel it fit with their business model–a decision they probably regret now.) For months, every time we walked through our town center, we would look at the banks and restaurants, gift shops, ice cream parlor, and say to each other, “There should be a bookstore here.” So we finally decided to make it happen.
Kathy Crowley worked many years as a physician at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. (Sorry–we have no plans to offer a “Read While You Wait” clinic in the bookstore.) Her short stories have appeared in Ontario Review, Fish Stories, The Literary Review, New Millenium Writings and The Marlboro Review. She has won awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for both her fiction and non-fiction, and was a founder and editor of the literary blog Beyond the Margins. She’s currently racing to finish her second novel, a spy mystery set in the local area, before her bookstore responsibilities take away all her free time.
Before apprenticing as a bookseller at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, Chris worked as a magazine editor, production manager, programmer, web consultant and IT director. He’s the author of Anatopsis, a young adult fantasy that came out in 2006, and his short stories, poetry and book reviews have appeared in The Boston Globe, Agni Magazine, The Literary Review, Epoch, Southern Review, New England Review, Other Voices, and Literal Latté. His awards include grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Somerville Arts Council. His latest work—a YA suspense novel—is sitting on various agents' desks right now, waiting for its big break.
Tildy once (okay, it was more than once) got in trouble for reading under her desk at school. Since that time she has worked in bookstores for over ten years, at both Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, MA and Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Prior to excitedly joining the Belmont Books team as Store Manager, Tildy was the Sales Manager and Children’s Editor at David R. Godine, Publisher. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, speaks way too quickly, and when not reading or helping to match others to the right books, Tildy can be found taking pictures and petting dogs.
About Simon the Tech Elf
We don't actually know much about Simon, other than that he's an elf and he's living somewhere in our tech support offices. He spends most of his days chasing bugs, answering tech support questions and watching old re-runs of Big Bang Theory and Eureka. He also reads about 40 books a day. (The average for an elf is 70 books a day, so it's not as impressive as it sounds.)