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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis alums open book store on Moody Street

Published: April 15, 2005
Section: News

This past September, recent Brandeis graduates Ezra Sternstein 04 and Alex Green 04 attended an end of the summer barbeque, where they realized that they were unsure of their futures. During a conversation about their daunting unemployment, the two friends stumbled upon the idea of opening a small bookstore on Moody Street. Their plans took off and Back Pages Books is scheduled to open this Monday, April 18.

The grand opening of the store at 368 Moody Street (across from Lizzys) will include appearances by Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright. The Waltham community is anxiously awaiting the opening.

People have been knocking on our door everyday, even though there is an opening soon sign in our window, Sternstein said.

Throughout their time at Brandeis, Sternstein and Green were aware of the fact that Moody Street serves as a venue for all types of shops and restaurants yet lacks a bookstore. They envision their store as a small, friendly business which would readily welcome the Waltham community as well as the Brandeis student body.

It will be a place where you will feel welcome sitting down and just browsing through a book, Green stated.

Green said the book store plans to become an integral part of the Waltham community, as it will be the only new and used bookstore in the area. The men hope to succeed in integrating their store into the already thriving Moody Street scene.

Well be having a Harry Potter party on July 16th [the date of the next book release], where we will be serving Lizzys ice cream, said Sternstein.

The owners said they were open to suggestions from Brandeis students for how to improve the store.
We will uphold a partnership with the school. Once we know what students want, we will implement their ideas, Sternstein said.

The store has worked to become associated with the University by reaching out to professors.

Our relationships with professors have been very important to us throughout this process, said Green, adding that professors had been suggesting books to students that they might be looking for.

As for specific plans to accommodate students, the store will be open late-night with a coffee and snack station. The pair intends to have lower prices than chain bookstores, including the Brandeis bookstore, un by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. The pair hope a used and remainders section will be most popular among students. In addition, they plan to have online purchasing available by the start of the fall semester. There is also talk of having a book delivery service directly to dorm rooms, however, that plan is still in the planning stages.

As the last of the books are being shelved, Sternstein and Green remain confident in their endeavor.
We are looking to provide a place for people to relax in a comfortable chair with a good book and a cup of coffee, Green said.