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Newtonville Books turns 20, releases birthday video featuring plenty of authors

Tom Perrotta was among the well-wishers.Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff/file

Newtonville Books, owned and run by Mary Cotton and Jaime Clarke, celebrates its 20th year of business on Sept. 29.

Cotton and Clarke, who are married, took over Newtonville Books 12 years ago from Tim Huggins, the previous owner. Cotton, who worked at Newtonville prior to ownership, said that Huggins worked to “create this community space” that was “very welcoming to everyone.” Since taking over, Cotton and Clarke have tried to expand on this vision, continuing with author readings, launch parties, and other events, including three new book clubs.

Throughout the day, there will be little celebratory pop-up events, including scavenger hunts and raffles, according to Cotton, who added, “Basically whenever someone comes in there’s going to be something going on.”


Ahead of the anniversary, Newtonville released a video of various authors wishing the bookstore a happy birthday, including Aimee Bender, Atul Gawande, Owen King, Jonathan Lethem, Margot Livesey, Gregory Maguire, Claire Messud, Ottessa Moshfegh, Anne Patchett, Tom Perrotta, and George Saunders.

In the video, Saunders called Newtonville Books “one of the great bookstores of our country” and Gawande referred to it as his “favorite bookstore in the entire world.”

Lillian Brown

Lillian Brown can be reached at lillian.brown@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @lilliangbrown.