Prudential Center
Harvard Book Store

An update on our next chapter

February 2, 2024

We wanted to take a moment to share some important news about our plans for expansion. We are writing to let you know that we are unable to proceed with the construction of a second bookstore at the Prudential Center. While that project has now been canceled, we are investing in improvements at our flagship Cambridge location, which has always been the heart of Harvard Book Store. 

The cancellation of the Pru project is humbling and disappointing. Despite exploring all available options, the lingering effects of the pandemic have continued to create considerable challenges for construction projects of this size and scope. With ongoing disruptions to the supply chain and escalating costs, our ambitious 29,000-square-foot expansion would ultimately prove unsustainable.

While we are disappointed in this outcome, we are grateful to the many talented and creative individuals who worked with us along the way. Most of all, we're grateful to the literary community of Boston who have expressed so much support in anticipation of a second Harvard Book Store location.

Bookstores matter. They are an integral part of a deeply engaged community; places you turn to for inspiration, adventure, and learning. Our top priority has always been to remain a healthy, thriving, independent bookstore—one that can continue to grow and serve our community for many years to come.

On that note, we will turn our focus to updates at our flagship location in Harvard Square, projects we have been planning in parallel with the Prudential store. Our goal is to enhance the in-store experience, while continuing to enrich our commitment to customer service, our flourishing author event series, and our excellent inventory. 

We want to accomplish all this while minimizing disruption to the customer experiences you’ve come to love. From this special place—as we have since 1932—we shall continue to serve the communities of writers and readers throughout our region. We are grateful to our partners, John and Linda Henry, whose continuing support for our bookstore makes these projects possible.

We are profoundly grateful for the overwhelming support you have shown for our mission to enhance the literary scene in Greater Boston and New England. Your enthusiasm and dedication inspire us. 

Thank you for being an integral part of the Harvard Book Store community.

With warm regards,

Your friends at Harvard Book Store

Please direct your questions or comments to

1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

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