In an email today, Marshall Smith, the president of the Wellesley and Brookline Booksmith shops, announced that he plans to retire, and that the Wellesley shop has been put up for sale.
Smith writes: "There are no specific plans for Brookline Booksmith at this time. I have been a bookseller for almost fifty years. What an extraordinary industry to devote your business life to. Difficult sometimes – yes. Rewarding most times – absolutely. I have taken great pride and pleasure in presenting the world of literature, of learning, of imagination to a broad audience. And there is always the excitement of being a part of that segment of society filled with people who love the printed word: Customers, authors, publishers, other booksellers. But especially the staff in the stores. There have been thousands of them over the years. Committed, involved, intelligent, quirky, always stimulating. It’s a joy to be able to walk into the stores at any time and have a fun, challenging talk with anyone on the floor. There are hundreds of stories to write when I can spend more time on the dunes in Truro."
I hope that a suitable buyer can be found for the Wellesley shop, and that both stores continue their record of great books and great service. Mr. Smith, the hats of local readers are all off to you for what you've done, and I have every confidence that you will leave the stores in good hands when your retirement takes effect. I'm sure you have lots of good books you'd like to read!