Monday, July 18, 2011

Fog City Notes Shills for Independent Bookstores

I love to read. I read for pleasure, I read for school, I read to pass the time.
This requires a lot of books.
It would be so easy to sit at my computer and buy all my books from a mega famous everything-for-sale store.
But you know what? I can't do it. Not that I haven't done it, I have, but I'd really rather not.

If I buy books online, I almost always go to Powell's. I can't recommend them enough.

And for those of us in San Francisco, we have plenty of local bookstores to take advantage of.
Green Apple, Dog Eared, Books Inc., Adobe, Forest Books, Phoenix Books, Booksmith and many more.
We used to have even more choices - rest in peace Abandoned Planet, A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, Casa de Libros, Stacey's.

Our local neighborhood stores are where we go for book signings and other related events.
They know what the neighborhood reads and make sure to stock the books we are interested in. They know about books, about literature. They want to share their favorite reads with the customers.
When I want something new to read, I know the Green Applers will be able to recommend something perfect.
I've been to Booksmith events featuring Paul Auster, David Sedaris, Andrew Sean Greer and Michael Chabon.
TC Boyle came to Green Apple and did a reading down the block at the Rocket Room bar.
Henning Mankell signed his latest novel in a cozy alcove in the Red Delicious Room.

Sure, the mega everything store can get me just about anything I want in two days, but you know what? If I can wait a few more days I know my local shop can get the same book for me, and I don't have to pay shipping.

What's the point of all this? This summer, this week, I've been thinking about how important bookstores are.

I'll leave off with this final observation: I've worked at three bookstores in my life - two of them, my favorite former places of employment, both closed and the third store will probably be closed soon. And it just breaks my heart.

So go buy a book.
(then leave me a comment about what you bought, and where you bought it!)


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