City Spotlight: Book Publishing in Boston
Boston supports its local bookstores, even though there are fewer around than there used to be, according to Emerson's Rodzvilla. "We do support them, we also see innovation. We have some really good bookstores and you have some fun things going on like Harvard Book Store having their bike delivery service and Porter Square Books going beyond the bookstore and having other kinds of events," says Rodzvilla of the bookseller's regular events with local and national authors. "The audience loves to read. I think we have a high percentage of readers but I think we have a lot of people that buy from Amazon. They need to know better. Buy local."
He adds that Boston has a "secret weapon": author Neil Gaiman, who lives in the area and wrote American Gods, Stardust, Coraline and The Sandman. Porter Square Books is one of the few bookstores in the nation for whom Gaiman is doing a reading and signing for his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. (The event will take place at a local church.) Also, author Junot Diaz teaches at MIT. "We have this weird population of really big-name authors," Rodzvilla said.
The city is also home to the Boston Book Festival, a popular literary fair and reading series, which will be in its fifth year in October, and Emerson College, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in publishing and writing. Grub Street welcomed over 2,500 writing students to the center last year, Bridburg says.
"There is a lot happening and it's very exciting," says Bridburg. "The hope is that we can build on this and give New York a run for its money."