I have to say that there are fabulous book stores around Ann Arbor, so I don’t miss these probably as much as Frank …
Things I’ll miss, #3
Green Apple Books. Haven’t ventured out there lately (it’s in the Richmond, and I now live in Oakland) but, for its selection, its sprawling looseness, and its rickety hardwood floors, it’s my favorite Bay Area bookstore.
Runners-up: 2. Stacey’s.
3. Moe’s Books in Berkeley.
4. Cody’s, also Berkeley.
6. Aardvark (for the imperious tabby cat alone).
7. Kepler’s, in Menlo Park, although its atmosphere and clientele were often a little too snooty for my liking.
8. City Lights, a San Francisco institution, and one that was inexplicably attacked as a leftist hive (you would’ve thought it was an al-Qaida meeting hall) and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with America in several out-of-control letters to the editor in the Chronicle during its fiftieth a iversary earlier this year.
9. The defunct (the space is now a yoga facility) Ninth Avenue Books.
11. Modern Times.
12. Bound Together, for shock value alone (not anymore, but when I first moved here, the concept of an anarchist bookstore was pretty amazing). The staff was surly at best, but as someone commented somewhere else on the Internet, “If you were a left-wing anarchist, would you be in a good mood?”
13. European Book Company. All kinds of Europe stuff, including supercilious French staff, supercilious being a particularly amusing quality to sport at the intersection of Larkin and Geary. Years ago, I found a fat English-Dutch dictionary here and just about died.
14. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, which is last because it has a great deal of sumptuous and intriguing stock to distract you, but seemingly never has exactly what you’re looking for.
A Different Light should be on this list—when I first settled down in San Francisco ten years ago, I had some of my most exciting times as a newbie to the City participating in a rambunctious writing workshop there—but I’m not that fond of the place anymore; it’s become too generic, too much like all of the other touristy boutiques and chain stores in the Castro. As you can tell, I spend way too much of my spare time in bookstores.
—Posted by Frank at 11:55:10 | 02-Aug-03