A Bookstore Update

by Anna Hewitt

San Francisco is overflowing with independent bookstore. Some selling new books, some solely graphic novels, others travel books, anarchist books, others selling second hand. On my wandering I have come across some real gems, so I thought I would update you all.

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So far, I can recommend:

City Lights Bookstore. Bookstore and publishing house that is home to the beat generation and still fostering writers and readers who may not fit the status quo. Wandering through this store is so overwhelming and awesome, I don’t even know where to begin.

Located in my new favourite area of San Francisco, Bibliohead is a well selected second hand bookstore. You don’t have to fight your way through hundreds of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey to get to the good stuff, this is like a new bookshop, but cheaper.

Books Inc is an independently owned chain of bookstores, apparently the oldest on the West Coast. I went to the Van Ness Street store and was impressed by the range of books and loyalty card system. Free books! They seem to organise a whole heap of book clubs, so may have to check one out.

Dog Eared Books is another well thought out second hand bookstore with so much to choose from. Interestingly, second hand books only seem to be a few dollars cheaper than new books. I guess when a new book is only $15, and rent is so expensive here, prices can only drop so low.

And of course, The Booksmith, my first and favourite bookstore visited in this city. I said some stuff about it here.


Lucky books are so cheap here as I have been consuming them at an alarming rate. The last two weeks I have read No and Me- Delphine de Vigan, Capital – John Lanchaster, The Dinner– Herman Koch and The Accidental- Ali Smith. Everything I have been reading lately has been so good, I am nervous that each new one I start wont live up to the last! So far, so good, but I am very open to any suggestions- comment away.