airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
© Alex W. Meriwether / Courtesy of Harvard Book Store
© Alex W. Meriwether / Courtesy of Harvard Book Store
Save to wishlist

The Best Independent Bookstores in Cambridge, MA

Picture of Harry Gustafson
Updated: 2 May 2018
In the age of tablets and e-readers, there are still many people who prefer reading physical copies of books. There is something undeniably enjoyable about shopping for books, and the best places to go for this are small, independent bookstores, where you can get the most for your money. Though places like this are closing increasingly often these days, cities such as Cambridge, MA still have a variety of independent bookstores that offer large sections of fiction, art history, biographies, architecture books, and more. Here’s our pick of the best.

Harvard Book Store

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
Harvard Best Independent Book Stores Cambridge MA
© Alan Yarborough / Courtesy of Harvard Book Store
It’s a delight searching through the tall shelves of this cozy Harvard Square bookstore. All the books upstairs are new, but the used basement has many bargains, especially with its sizable collection of art books and graphic novels. It’s a popular spot for readings from guest authors. The store also hosts a semi-annual sale at its warehouse in Somerville, where the prices are extra low. Be sure to get there early though, because the inside of the warehouse fills up quickly!
More Info
Sun - None:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent, Second-Hand (Used)

Raven Used Books

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
This Harvard Square spot is a favorite among locals looking to buy and sell used books. Its collection covers a wide range of genres: in addition to an ample fiction section, the shop also carries a large amount of art criticism, psychology, historical, political, and scientific books as well. Even though it is a used book store, the books are always in great shape, and often run between $5-10.
More Info
Mon - Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sun - None:
11:00 am - 8:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent, Second-Hand (Used)

Seven Stars

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
This fascinating store has plenty to offer readers with an interest in New Age, holistic studies, and similar subjects. Not only is it a bookstore, but it’s one of Cambridge’s most popular crystal shops. It sells books on herbs and natural remedies, conspiracy theories, pagan religions, astrology, and a host of other fascinating subjects. It is located a few steps from the Red Line in Central Square.
More Info
Sun - None:
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Mon - Sat:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent, Boutique

Atmosphere:

Peaceful

Rodney's Bookstore

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
If you’re looking for rare and out-of-print books, head to Rodney’s in Central Square, which has a huge collection of used books. You’ll even be able to find some literary classics for as little as $1, which makes this the perfect place to pick up some of those books you’ve been meaning to read for ages. Rodney’s also sells a bunch of knick-knacks and toys, and also offers custom poster printing services.
More Info
Sun - None:
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mon - Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent, Vintage, Second-Hand (Used)

Porter Square Books

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
Porter Square Books Best Independent Bookstores Cambridge
© Porter Square Books
While most of Cambridge’s bookstores are located around Harvard and Central Squares, Porter Square Books serves as a resource for the northern half of Cambridge and Somerville. This store’s specialty is definitely fiction, which occupies the largest section of the store. They also sell many quirky games and toys and have a large children’s section. After buying your books, take a seat in Café Zing—located right inside the store—to grab a beverage and read!
More Info
Mon - Fri:
7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Independent

Pandemonium Books & Games

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
Located in Central Square, Pandemonium caters to a customer base with a strong interest in science fiction and fantasy. On top of its collection of independent sci-fi books, it is also a game store, selling all the accessories for a number of board and card games. It also serves as a gathering spot for the local gamer community, hosting game nights to play Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, and more.
More Info
Sun - Fri:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat - None:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent
6869969531_a35b1e5d8e_b
© Chase Eliot Clark / Flickr | © Chase Eliot Clark / Flickr

The Million Year Picnic

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
This little comic book shop sits on the lower floor of a building in Harvard Square. It stocks a large selection of independently published comic books, graphic novels, and manga. The helpful and patient staff are always eager to help answer any questions customers might have. The store is great for longtime comic readers, those just getting into their first graphic novels, or people just picking up gifts for someone else.
More Info
Mon - Tue:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed - None:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thu - Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sun - None:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Independent

Robin Bledsoe Art & Horse

Bookstore
Save to wishlist
This might be the most niche—as well as the hardest to find—bookstore in Cambridge. Located north of Harvard Square, off a garden in back of a building, this little shop specializes in antique and out-of-print books on horses and various equestrian subjects. They also have an extensive collection of rare architecture books, as well as other titles on various subjects. This store is off the beaten path, and easy to miss!
More Info
Tue - Sat:
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Vintage, Independent, Boutique