Entrepreneur Marshall Smith, majority owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., is retiring and putting Brookline's sister store, 10-year-old Wellesley Booksmith in Wellesley, Mass., up for sale. The 4,500 sq. ft. store was once part of the Lauriat's chain.
Not that 78-year-old Smith, who founded his first retailing franchise, Paperback Booksmith, in 1961 is retiring exactly. He will continue to remain active in the nearly 50-year-old Brookline store, which is not for sale, and in Wellfleet Marketplace, a grocery with a strong book selection, which he started in 2004. He also founded Videosmith (one of the first movie rental chains), Learningsmith (one of the first set of stores to combine fun and educational books and toys), and Cybersmith (a cyber cafe), which have all since closed.
In other Boston-area bookselling news, Barefoot Books will move its flagship children's store later this spring from Cambridge, Mass., to a more suburban setting, Concord, Mass. The new location, according to Barefoot group communications director Leah Lesser, will have more space for events such as parenting classes, yoga, and children's performers.