Goodbye to 189 North Street. Questo è un arrivederci, non un addio This is a "see you again," not a "farewell"

Aug 21, 2020 729

BY: Nicola & Jim



Dear friends, I am writing to let you know that Jim and I have made the very difficult decision of closing our physical location at 189 North St. in Boston’s North End. The past several months have taken a huge toll on our small business, and the uncertainty of the next several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible for us to renew our lease.

However, this isn’t “addio,” or farewell, but “arrivederci,” or “see you again.” We look forward to the times when we’ll feel completely safe meeting in closed spaces, hugging friends not seen in months, and shaking hands with new ones. And who knows, perhaps to an even better I AM Books down the road.

To get from here to there, we will focus all our energies on growing our online bookstore and our virtual presence. We have always strongly believed in our mission: to provide a space for people to discover the intersection between Italy and the United States. We will make sure that our online presence carries on the important work done within the walls of 189 North St., and to lay the foundation for the I AM Books of the future. We have made numerous improvements to our online store this summer and will be growing our online footprint over the coming months. We want to become your one-stop shop for all the best that Italian and Italian American publishing have to offer.

These past five years have been the most incredible years of my life. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what I AM Books would one day become. We hosted author events, poetry readings, social gatherings, art exhibits, film screenings, musical concerts, theatrical performances, book clubs, children’s readings, workshops, and language classes … sometimes cramming more than 50 people in a space that probably shouldn’t hold more than 15! We did pop-ups across the state, worked our tails off at our little book corner at Eataly Boston, and started a two-day literary and cultural festival that we did again the following year! And, of course, we made friends from near and far who visited the North End as visitors from other cities and countries and found themselves in front of a small bookstore from another world entirely.

In a way, it was time for us to move on. The space at 189 North St. was perfect for our first few years in business, but to be honest with you, we were starting to consider growing into something bigger, more spacious. The warm brick walls that protected our books since 2015 were starting to feel a bit tight. I knew that if we truly wanted to become a cultural hub we needed a bigger space. That bigger space is a dream for now, but so was I AM Books before we launched it.

We hope you follow us on our journey, to keep track of where we go and end up. Keep an eye out for our newsletters and follow us on social media, as we keep you updated on our journey to continue the work we’ve been doing all along. And, of course, keep visiting for all the latest releases and recommendations that you have come to trust and value over time.

I want to end by thanking all of you for supporting us throughout the years. Without you, none of the things we accomplished would have been possible. And without you, we probably wouldn’t be considering continuing. Your love and support have been overwhelming, and we want you to know that we deeply appreciate everything. And a special thanks to all who have worked at I AM Books throughout the years. You know who you are, and you know how important your contribution has been. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it definitely wasn’t built by one person alone.

So let’s continue the voyage, together. Yes, virtually for now, but who knows what surprises the future holds.

Grazie di cuore. Thank you with all my heart.

Nicola & Jim

A few extra things:

Mark your calendar!
We are planning a "goodbye event" on Saturday, Sept. 12 (rain date Sept. 13). People can stop by outside our doors at 189 North St. to say bye, to pick up their online orders, and receive some goodies! More details coming soon.

100% operational online
Our physical store is closing, but we are focusing all our energies on our online operations. That means more books, more curation, and more attention to your needs when it comes to books in Italian, books about Italy and Italian American culture. Over the coming weeks we will send you updates on special offers and much more. So if you've been shopping online with us, nothing changes... actually, it's only getting better!
Visit us at

Consignment and returns
If you have books or products on consignment, we may need to return your books. We will reach out to you soon to work out the details, or you can write to us directly to inquire about your books at



You may be interested