Chip MacGregor

September 28, 2016

Ten Bookstores in Five Days (a guest blog)


I used to think that the answers to everything could be found in books.

Now the internet has all the answers…or does it? I rarely find depth in Google offerings. So when I want to research something, I still turn to books.

San Francisco is a city full of independent bookstores, both for new and used treasures. I usually have my eight or so favorite bookstores that I go to time and time again. But this time it was different. I deliberately went to unexplored bookstores in neighborhoods new to me.

It was a joyful time. I loved the unexpected finds.

After all, at Dog-Eared Books, I couldn’t have known that I wanted a history of women’s strength training with the title of “Venus with Biceps.”

Or that at the art museum bookstore I needed a book called “Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk.”

I delighted at finding book-related wisdom. In the Self-Help section of Green Apple books by the Golden Gate Park was a hand-lettered sign: “Aren’t all books self-help?”

The Green Apple book cart at their main store on Clement Street had other wisdom: “Think before you speak. READ before you think.”

I wanted the wallpaper in the backroom of Adobe Books that had the pattern of shelves of books.

The wonderful thing is, even when I do the tour next time, there’ll be new treasures as well as old ones.

How joyous!

Pile of books on a black background

Kathleen Colvin is a historical fiction writer, focusing on real women who have made a difference in the world. She wants you to know that her home has more than 2000 books on shelves in every room of the house.

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1 Comment

  • sarahbates says:

    I know City Lights is an icon and I can’t resist a trip there when I visit San Francisco, but with your comments, I now have other bookstores to check out. There is something mystical about the neighborhood of the Beat writers, though. I can feel their presence, especially upstairs where the Kerouac books are shelved.

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