Big Bookstore News!

Frank Kramer, who has owned Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., since 1962, is putting the store up for sale. In an announcement, Kramer, who is 66, said that he would like to move “into a new phase of his life” and plans “to stay connected to Harvard Square and books.” He hopes to find a buyer “of like mind who loves books, who appreciates the iconic institution that he and two generations of dedicated staff members have built and who will continue the traditions and values that HBS represents to its many thousands of committed customers.”

Kramer has no urgency about selling, saying, “It’s all about finding the right person.” The store is “healthy and vibrant,” he emphasized, and is mainly run by general manager Carole Horne.

Some 46 years ago, Kramer took over the store in his senior year at college, when his father, Mark Kramer, who had founded the store in 1932, died. Kramer decided to take the helm, he remembered, for “at least for a few years until I figured out what to do with my life.” As co-founder and co-chair of Cambridge Local First, he will continue to spend at least some time helping locally owned businesses grow and help Cambridge become a greener city.
What does this mean for me? Not much for now. Frank is committed to finding the best possible person to take over the store. We haven’t seen that person on the horizon yet, but they’re out there. I’m leaving for Book Expo tomorrow morning and anticipate answering a billion questions about this. I say with pride that the Harvard Book Store is one of the best bookstores in the country. With customer support, we’ll be around for a long long time.

3 thoughts on “Big Bookstore News!

  1. Pingback: Books and Magazines Blog » Archive » Bookstore News!

  2. Steve Laniel

    Hi Megan,

    I’m aware that this is an absurd question, but: is there a possibility that HBS could become customer-owned? HBS customers are rabidly loyal to what is, without question, the best bookstore for at least a couple hundred miles around. I can’t imagine that any new owner would take as much care of the institution as its customers would.

    If this isn’t a totally implausible suggestion, I’d love to discuss it further.


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