After some rest at the Sheraton Commander Hotel, the next item on my agenda was to find the famous Harvard Square. And this is exactly what I did after breakfast on 1st September, Spring Day, back home in South Africa. With the Harvard Square being a stone’s throw away from the hotel, in no time, I found myself at this world-famous Square.
The best description of how I felt is closest captured by ‘overwhelming sense of bursting excitement.’ I had to pinch myself to check if I wasn’t dreaming. The Harvard Square is a popular tourist destination, attracting over 8 million visitors a year from every corner of the world. Various movies, including Social Network, Good Will Hunting and The Town were filmed in and around the Harvard Square.
At the center of the Harvard Square is the old Harvard Square Subway Kiosk, now a newsstand, Out of Town News, stocking newspapers and magazines from around the world. The Harvard Square is a thriving area for shopping, eating, hanging out, people watching, drinking, theater going, etc. I found it an excellent place to spend quality time exploring area landmarks, along with stores, restaurants, and bookshops.
Talking about books, no book lover worth her salt would leave the Square without visiting The Harvard Coop Bookstore. I was as excited as a child in a candy store when I entered this giant bookstore. I barely managed to resist the urge to buy many books. With titles on my ‘to buy’ list such as The Silent Wife, I am Pilgrim, My Beloved World, Can We Talk About Race, The Behaviour Gap all availabe, it wasn’t easy to delay the buying of more of books. With the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme that I am attending beginning two days’ time, I knew that there was very little time to read any books outside the programme’s reading list. So, with a heavy heart, I delayed my book shopping to the the end of October, on my back to South Africa.
The Harvard Coop Bookstore is a multi-floored mecca of books. It was originally founded in 1882 “for students, by students”. There are other bookstores at the Harvard Square. The Harvard Bookstore, which has been family owned and operated since 1932 carries books new and used in all genres. Around the corner is the oldest continuously run poetry bookshop in the USA; The Grolier Poetry Bookshop. Raven’s Used Books is a fantastic showcase of literary, scholarly, and general books at great prices.