Memories of Lorem Ipsum

November 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Having never really lived in anything like a city before, being able to pick up on a community’s the sense of humor, range of tastes, and common interests, just by stopping into the neighborhood bookstore, left a big impact on me. Between the shop’s rainy-day discount, campy pulp novels, handwritten employee recommendations on little notecards taped to the shelves, curated sections of fairly odd fairy tales, a how-to section filled with titles specifically beginning with the words “How To”, the prominently displayed primers on tap-dancing and left-handed calligraphy highlighted the strange and curious details of this new setting I was just beginning to understand.

(Peter Loftus, store manager)

At The Media, friends and staff members offer their memories of Lorem Ipsum Books, the Cambridge bookstore, tiny concert venue, literary salon, and communal hangout space that lasted for ten years before closing its doors last month.

I only met the founder, Matt Mankins, once, but he was a friend of my (now) sister-in-law, and my only visit to Lorem Ipsum came when the store was still finding its shape. Mankins had developed his own inventory and pricing software that set prices based upon a book’s scarcity according to searches of other inventories across the web. Lorem Ipsum began as an extension of his online business.

The store site became a neighborhood staple of Cambridge’s Inman Square before falling behind on its rent. An IndieGoGo campaign helped to stave off eviction for a little more than a year.

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