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Why Bookstores?

By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  November 23, 2010

"The relationships that our booksellers have with our customers is really extraordinary," Gillian Kohli tells me in a phone call from her office. "It really feels individual and pretty special."

Kohli and her husband Bill purchased the Wellesley Booksmith in September (former owner Marshall Smith is gearing up for retirement; he still owns the Brookline location). Neither Bill nor Gillian had ever owned a store, or even worked a register. "Neither of us had any experience in retail, let alone the book business. I had not been working for a long time."

But they didn't want to see the store close.

"It would have been a big loss to the town," Kohli says. "It seemed like the obvious thing to do."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Books, Harvard Book Store, Brookline Booksmith,  More more >
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