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Goodspeed's Book Shop

Goodspeed’s Book Shop (Boston, Mass.)

Goodspeed’s Book Shop opened in 1898 at Beacon and Somerset streets in Boston, Massachusetts. Opened by Charles Eliot Goodspeed, the shop quickly became well known for its carefully curated selection of books, prints, autographs, and maps. The logo on their sign, which featured a monk reading a breviary and the words “Anything that’s a book,” became an icon. In 1925, George Talbot Goodspeed graduated from Harvard and joined his father at the family business. After the elder Goodspeed passed away, his son managed the shop. In 1995, at the age of 93, George Goodspeed closed the storefront, with the intention of moving to online sales at a much-reduced rate. Goodspeed died in 1997, signaling the end of an era.

During its years of bookselling, Goodspeeds made its reputation by acquiring American literature; the first children’s book printed in America was among their purchases. The Goodspeeds were also among the first to recognize the importance of Audubon’s natural history prints and to anticipate the growing popularity of genealogy studies. George Goodspeed’s memoirs, The Bookseller’s Apprentice, published in 1996, recount the best stories of his life as a renowned bookseller.



Barker, Nicolas. “Obituary: George Goodspeed.” The Independent. May 29, 1997.

Nolan, Martin F. “Book closes on Goodspeed’s, haven of letters.” The Boston Globe. June 23, 1993.

Purcell, Shawn. “Books about Bookselling: The Bookseller’s Apprentice.” IOBA Standard: the Journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association. Last modified July 1, 2008.