On Wednesday, Nov. 16, MIT faculty and students, along with others in the Cambridge community, joined staff of the MIT Press to celebrate the grand opening of the MIT Press Bookstore's new location. The MIT Press Bookstore, which had been open on Main Street in Kendall Square since 1980, is now up and running in its new 2,350-square-foot location at 301 Massachusetts Ave.
The event featured a demonstration of the press's new Espresso Book Machine. The innovative machine combines several technologies into a single device which, when paired with a printer, can print, glue, and trim a perfect-bound paperback book, complete with a full-color cover, in about five minutes. Patrons explored the aisles of the new store, browsing a vast selection of titles on science, technology, art, and culture, as the Espresso Book Machine whirred at the back of the shop. Titles printed for the opening demonstration included a 1904 biography of MIT founder William Barton Rogers written by James P. Munroe, and several out-of-print books from the MIT Press archive.
MIT Press Director Amy Brand welcomed guests, remarking that the spacious new location will be instrumental in the press's aim to become "even more of a force for intellectual engagement in the community, and even more of an ambassador for the Institute, with many more author events on site. I foresee a very bright future for books and bookstores, for the MIT Press in particular, with its distinctive brand of activism and truth-telling in art, science, and scholarship."
MIT Libraries Director Chris Bourg stated that the joint mission of the press and libraries is to "provide high quality scholarship to all who need it." The bookstore has "been a beloved destination for the global community."
David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and author of 'Becoming MIT" (MIT Press 2010), said the press continues to produce "smart, engaging works at the cutting edge," and that the work of the press and bookstore is now "more important than ever."
The new location will greatly expand the reach of the bookstore in the community in Cambridge and beyond. The MIT Press Bookstore will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and features MIT Press titles and books of interest to the MIT community. Watch for some thought-provoking author events in the coming months.
Jay Keyser, professor of linguistics emeritus and editor of the Linguistics Inquiry Monograph Series, summed up the excitement and emotion of the evening by saying of the new bookstore, "Thank goodness it's here. Physical books unite body and soul."