The Trident: A Mighty Force in Bookstore Experiences

Like most other writers, I’m also a voracious reader. I love discovering local bookstores outside of the typical chain and find it important to support them. That being said, visiting Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street had been on my to-do list for about five years, and I was recently able to check it off.

I initially found out about the Trident while researching things to do in Boston when I had moved to the area at age 18. I saw that not only did they sell a wide variety of books and magazines, but also featured a full-blown cafe and menu, not just selling coffee. I’m not sure why I never made the trip when I first heard about it, but now that much of my time is mainly dedicated to discovering this very sort of place, I’m so glad I was able to.

It was a sunny day, perfect for strolling Newbury Street and people-watching. I took my time admiring the storefronts of each shop, from the ultra-glam to the eclectic. Then my stomach started to rumble. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and I was more than ready to taste what the Trident’s cafe had to offer. I hustled along until I reached my destination. I entered and was greeted by the sight of my two favorite things – books and food. To my left was the cafe where a mix of customers sat. Just from my observant eye, I could see people on their lunch breaks from work, students writing papers while chugging caffeinated beverages and relaxed tourists just taking it all in. As much as I wanted to join the crowd and eat right then, I decided to look around  first.

I could spend a whole afternoon looking at this stuff.

I could spend a whole afternoon looking at this stuff.

There were racks of magazines tempting me to stop and look, but I moved on to to browsing through the tall bookshelves where there was a mix of regularly priced books and highly discounted books. These discounted books are not used, but are (according to Trident Bookseller’s website) “remainders…leftover books from recent print runs that are a sold at a reduced price…like, really reduced”. Can’t go wrong with that!

Aside of books, there were all sorts of fun and unique items and knick-knacks for sale, from coffee mugs to scalp massagers to silly socks. Actually, I should have bought that scalp massager when I had the chance because now my boyfriend has one and I’m jealous. They’re heavenly.

After perusing the other items, I could no longer ignore my stomach’s loud demands for lunch. I plopped myself down at a counter seat in the cafe, was given a menu and took forever to decide because that’s what happens when I’m faced with an array of options that I want all of. You can see my dilemma by checking out their menu here. I’m not normally a salad gal, but something about the Crunchy Western Ranch Salad was calling my name. It was probably just the word “avocado” in the description, which is usually enough to make me choose one entree over another. I went ahead and ordered that…and obviously a beer because what goes better with a salad lunch? Just kidding, but no really, I did feel like having a Yuengling.

As I waited, I became surprisingly enthralled in the closed-captioned movie that was on the TV – Meet Me in St. Louis, featuring Judy Garland. When I got my salad, I turned it into a mashed up mess of all the Southwestern-style ingredients (just how I like it) and enjoyed every bite. It was a decently large salad, and there was enough to fulfill my appetite.

Forgive me for the blurry nature of this picture, but I was too excited to care.

Forgive me for the blurry nature of this picture, but I was too excited to care!

At last I was happily full and tore my eyes away from Judy Garland singing to check out the second floor of books. Books even lined the stairs, and as I was walking up I became distracted by F*ck! I’m in my Twenties by Emma Koening. It was hilarious and reassuring (and at times, sad) at the same time. I may have blocked the staircase reading the book in its entirety while standing there, but it was worth it. Upstairs, there was a second dining room filled with people and more books, of course. I came across a section with books all about being a better writer. I knew I would end up purchasing something from this area. As luck would have it, I found a discounted book called Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know about Writing at the extravagant price of a whole $7.00. This baby was coming home with me.

After my find, I read through a book of slow cooker recipes to see if I could scrounge up inspiration for my new Crock-Pot. I had requested it as a birthday present in hopes of an easy way out of having to actually cook a meal while still eating something decent for dinner. I should probably attend one of the Cooking Demos (among several other events) that the Trident hosts with cookbook authors so I can learn a thing or two.

Afterwards, I made my way back downstairs to pay for my new writing guide and step back out onto Newbury Street in search of my next adventure. My mind and my stomach were both satisfied, and in the grand scheme of things, that’s all I need.

Featured Place:

Trident Booksellers & Cafe – 338 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115


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