Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy 10th Porter Square Books!

Porter Square Books celebrates its 10th anniversary this Fall and as part of the celebration I asked the booksellers who have been with the store for the entire decade to share their thoughts. Below, from Anne Miley, is the first installment in the series.


It seems that there must be things called "bookstore years", similar to dog years, which would make Porter Square Books older than it actually is. It doesn't seem possible to me that the bustling, bright and welcoming spot the bookstore is today has only been a part of our lives since 2004.

I am one of the original settlers of Porter Square Books, coming as that small group did, east on Route 2 from The Concord Bookshop where we had worked together for a number of years. After a summer of a lot of planning and hard work, the bookstore opened in October with not all that many books and no Cafe Zing! What we lacked in inventory we made up for with an abundance of camaraderie, a wide range of talents and a strong desire to create a store that would, to put it simply, be a place that people wanted to be.

When I tell people what I do for work their universal reply is to say how lucky I am and what a great job that must be. They are right-it is a great job and I am lucky. Getting paid to do what you love to do is one of life's great blessings. I am always reminded of a press conference years ago when basketball legend Larry Bird had just signed a contract with the Boston Celtics and their manager Red Auerbach. When Bird was asked how it felt to be earning what, at that time was a lot of money, he said "I didn't tell Mr. Auerbach but I would have played for free." I can relate.

As Porter Square Books was opening in October of 2004, my two sons were in various stages of finishing high school, applying to and going off to college. As with the bookstore, there was a lot of happiness and hope in our family that all this newness would work out well and that our feelings of uncertainty and trepidation would not rule the day. Here we are in 2014 and my boys and the bookstore are fully launched in their lives and happily making their way in the world. Long may they run.

Anne Miley

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