Inside Rarities in Wakefield, a New Life for Old Books

The bookshop offers vintage and out-of-print selections, plus new releases, works by local authors and plenty of gift ideas.
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Courtesy of Rarities Books and Bindery.

Kelly Kujawski has always loved to read; it’s a passion that led to her esoteric career in bookbinding (think classes in leather longstitch and paper conservation) before it was time to turn the page. In September, she introduced an updated version of her studio, Rarities, to the wider world of book lovers. Its new incarnation is now Rarities Books and Bindery, a small, welcoming space in downtown Wakefield.

Chances are you won’t find Rarities’ inventory on any massive e-commmerce site (you know, that one). Kujawski offers new works by local authors, occasional live music, antique books as well as other merch including cute cards and candles. Last-minute holiday shoppers should check out the woolly shawls and scarves by artist Kate O’Donovan, along with vintage, out-of-print and gently worn works by writers such as Stephen King, Christopher Hitchens and L. Frank Baum.

Kujawski also acquired several hundred old editions from Allison Goodsell before she shut Kingston Hill Books, a longtime antiquarian business. “Customers will come in and talk about how many times a year they would visit Allison’s and how they’re so glad Rarities is now here in town,” says Kujawski, who still does bookbinding in her original, appointment-only location in the Shady Lea Mill in North Kingstown. “I know I will never be able to compare myself to how amazing she is at what she does, but to follow in her footsteps is an honor.” 396 Main St., Wakefield, 379-9970,