If you’ve been to Brookline Booksmith, you’ve most likely seen co-owner and manager Lisa Gozashti moving about the store, leading her team of bookloving staff members on their daily mission, serving our community’s need to read. If you haven’t been to Brookline Booksmith, put your mask on and go there now. Booksmith is a community that shares the love of the written word and books. It’s also a community that makes eye contact, smiles at each other, listens to each other, and on occasion, dare I say it, when a pandemic isn’t raging, it even takes the time to embrace each other.

Lisa Gozashti is one of the most important members of Booksmith’s community; she is the linchpin for everything in the store. Just like Dana Brigham before her, Lisa creates an atmosphere conducive to the love of the written word and the human spirit that seems to settle into the consciousness of every patron. No matter how crowded the store got during the pre-virus holiday season or how far back the register lines went, you never seemed to see an anxious soul. Just like the Coolidge, your world inside the store always seems more magical than outside it.

While she may have a very public presence within the store, Gozashti is a very private person. Her life outside of work has always been her own. Like many caring people who are practitioners of the art of listening, it’s easy to think you know Gozashti even when you aren’t familiar with her life details. Gozashti is one of those people whose sheer presence tells us all we need to know about her; she is a beautiful person. She’s had her challenges and experienced sadness just like the rest of us, yet through everything life’s journey has thrown her way, Lisa never seems to lose the ability to bring peace to others.

Late last year, the Gozashti family was hit with a near tragedy so horrifying it would make anyone’s list of worst nightmares. Lisa’s oldest son, Alec, was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Shot 12 times, he managed to survive several surgeries and have been in painful rehab at Spaulding Rehabilitation. Alec has more challenges ahead, but thanks to his mom, he and his brother Emile has the support system to come back from this devastating setback and thrive.

Dealing with her son’s challenges has put Lisa Gozashti’s need to maintain her privacy and her commitment to her family almost at odds. She does not want or seek a public spotlight on herself or her family. But the financial challenges facing her family were just too overwhelming for her to dissuade her friends from starting a GoFundMe campaign to help ease her family’s financial burden.

What can we do to help Lisa and Alec Gozashti?

Now is the time to rally around one of our most cherished community members from one of our most cherished stores. The Gozashti’s need our financial support. But between dedication to work, family, and close friends, not to mention navigating all of it during a pandemic, like a lot of us, Lisa Gozashti’s emotional plate is full. Just as much as the Gozashtis need our donations, they need us to help them maintain their space during this challenging ordeal.

Please donate today to Emergency Funds for the Gozashtis

And visit Brookline Booksmith in person and online.

By R. Harvey Bravman