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Wanted in Davis Square: a bookstore

Posted by Marcia Dick  March 25, 2010 09:44 AM

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Davis Square has plenty of charm but no bookstore.

Two years after Davis Square's only bookstore moved to Cambridge, a group of book-loving neighbors is trying to fill the gap on the shelf.

"We feel it's really a missing piece of the community," said Davis Bookstore Project organizer Jay Neely, 23, who held a meeting March 22 to discuss plans.

Porter Square Books and former Davis tenant McIntyre and Moore are both nearby in Cambridge, but the so-called "Paris of the '90s" lacks a place to browse, read, and chat. Adding insult to injury, McIntyre & Moore's former Elm Street space - which the store left in 2008 for financial reasons - currently stands empty. It's still the top Google hit for "Davis Square bookstore."

The members of the group hope their enthusiasm will persuade an interested entrepreneur to take up the slack. They'd also be happy if an existing independent bookstore opened a branch in the square, but no chain stores. They want a store that sells both new and used books, with "that Davis Square spirit of indie and involved," Neely said.

McIntyre and Moore manager Peter Coyle attended the March 22 meeting and thought the plan was "probably something that could work." (His store specializes in second-hand scholarly tomes.) Neely's group will "offer a sense of community support," he said, and hopefully tailor any store to what the people want.

Davis's old bookstore, though, isn't coming back. "It's not even in the cards because we just don't have the money to do anything," Coyle said. "If you want to make a million dollars bookselling, invest two."

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