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PLACES YOU CAN HANG: Rodney’s Bookstore

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As the convenience of the internet has made me less inclined to seek out music and movies on physical media and fashion was never really my thang, used bookstores have become the primary means of satisfying my inner cultural fetishist, and Rodney’s in Central Square has become my go-to whenever I need to scratch that itch.
In the increasingly gentrified neighborhood, Rodney’s stands as a bastion of haphazard, idiosyncratic character. Upon walking in, one can see bookshelves for sale, vintage posters, and assorted curiosities and knick-knacks from who knows where, not to mention the piles of books. While there are the standard sections — fiction, poetry, assorted special interests — half the fun of shopping here is digging through the ever changing, unsorted piles of second-hand tomes, picking out a few familiar or eye catching titles.
And it’s a good selection too. While the store eagerly accepts donations of books in exchange for store credit, much of the stock is hand-picked from book fairs by owner Shaw Taylor. And ya know, the place just has a cool atmosphere. The employees all seem to have great taste in music, playing anything from cool jazz to classical to indie rock, and the patrons form an eclectic mix of post-collegiate intellectuals alongside some of the neighborhood’s funkier denizens.
Like many small businesses, Rodney’s almost closed a few years ago due to increasing rent, but so far since then it’s managed to stay afloat. Let’s hope it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

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