At new location, bookstore offers clothing, jewelry, tote bags, and hundreds of books.
Along with the rest of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the UUA Bookstore has moved to new quarters at 24 Farnsworth St. in Boston. The store is located just inside the main entrance of the building, just as it was at the former UUA headquarters at 25 Beacon St. Bookstore manager Rose Hanig said the store will continue to carry six to eight hundred book titles plus an expanded line of jewelry and other gift items.
“We have fair-trade jewelry made by women in Guatemala, items made out of telephone wire by Zulu people, and other similar items,” she said. “In our new location we have a lot more items that are not books than in the old location. Many of these gift items are not in our online catalog.”
The bookstore sells Skinner House and Beacon Press books as well as titles of interest to UUs from other publishers. It carries a large inventory of Standing on the Side of Love merchandise: not only the iconic yellow T-shirts, but also other clothing, caps, jewelry, tote bags, and informational material.
Hanig noted the bookstore has slightly less space in its new location, “but we’re able to use the space more effectively. Items can be displayed so that people can see them better. It’s a very inviting space—very bright and airy and much more modern. People told us that in the old space it was sometimes difficult to see everything we carried.”
She cautioned that customers who want to pick up multiple copies of a book should notify the bookstore a week in advance in case additional stock needs to be brought in from the warehouse in Fitchburg, Mass.
The bookstore has two other staff members: Ryan Harrison, customer service representative, and Lyn Kardatzke, assistant manager. Hanig has managed the bookstore for 15 years.
Hanig said the new space doesn’t have big comfy chairs like chain bookstores, “but there is a lounge area in our new Heritage and Vision Center, which is nearby, and we’d be happy if people wanted to take books over there.”
The bookstore shares the first floor of 24 Farnsworth with Church of the Larger Fellowship offices plus the large lobby that will hold much of the UUA’s Heritage and Vision Center, which will have historical displays as well as exhibits about the future of Unitarian Universalism. (See “UUA Moves into ‘Innovation District’ Headquarters,” page 10.)
Hanig said she’s hoping there will be more traffic through the bookstore at the new location. “At the other location many meetings were held at Eliot & Pickett House and many people didn’t even come into the 25 Beacon building. I’m hoping that with all of the UUA offices and meeting rooms now located in one building, more people will have an opportunity to visit the bookstore.”
The bookstore is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern) weekdays in July and August and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the rest of the year. The bookstore sells a special selection of books each year at General Assembly, complementing the offerings in the GA program. Its offerings are also available through the online catalog at uuabookstore.org.
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UUA Bookstore manager Rose Hanig
Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.
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