Walk into Parnassus Books and you enter a delicious chaos of books. Boxes, shelves, floorboards, tables — they’re all filled with books. There are even shelves outside, available for purchase 24/7 — just tuck the money in the door.
A visit here is less about finding a specific book than it is about a book finding you, and the treasure trove of titles you encounter along the way. Or maybe it is about finding a specific book. New, used, or rare, it’s likely here, and owner Ben Muse, who has been at this since the mid-1950s, will hunt it down for you.
The three-story 19th-century house started out as a general store. At one point it housed the Yarmouth Swedenborgian Church during the decade it took them to build their church on the green. The Muse family has been selling books here since the 60s.