Jul 17, 2008

Meme: Vacation

From Booking Through Thursday:

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday? Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip? What/Where are they?

Whenever I travel, I seek out any used bookstores I can find and prowl the aisles. You never know what stranger in this new town may have discarded a book that to me is a long-looked-for treasure. I just can't pass up the possibilities. Usually these bookstores are ones I've not visited before and may never set foot in again. But now that I've moved away from my hometown (Seattle) and the city where I spent four years (and met my husband, San Francisco) the bookstores I used to frequent there are high priority stops when I visit again. In Seattle it's the Elliot Bay Book Company a wonderful, sprawling, multi-leveled new-and-used bookstore full of charm. It is a rich experience to walk in that store. I also like the Book World down on Pacific Highway, a huge one-room used bookshop (I can't believe they don't have a website!). In San Francisco it's Green Apple Books which has two storefronts, separated by another shop. If you're not decided on your purchases and want to go browse in the annex, a clerk will walk you to the other door to make sure you don't run off with the books!. They also have sidewalk shelves full of discounted books, and once a week bins full of books that are just free. I used to go once every few weeks to shop at the large asian market across the street, then nip over and pick out books from the sidewalk displays before heading home on Muni. Sadly, I have just learned that my second-favorite used bookstore in San Francisco, Acorn Books, is now closed. This makes my heart sad. It was a beautiful shop. I loved the wheeled library ladders you could use to access the top of their floor-to-ceiling shelves. I bought many books there.


  1. There is actually a Barnes & Noble near me with a used book annex. I didn't even know that they had them.

  2. I stop at any used bookshops i can finds also ... the treasures are just waiting to be found in them!

  3. Ah "the wheeled library ladders you could use to access the top of their floor-to-ceiling shelves" is a wonderful image.

  4. I love checking out bookshops I run into when we travel. One of the neatest bookshops I discovered in my travels was in MA. Very fun & unusual. Great selection too.

  5. Anonymous7/18/2008

    I finally had a chance to visit a used bookstore within a mile from the house that I've been eying for over a year but haven't dared go in because I was always with kids. Finally a couple of days ago, I remembered to stop in when I didn't have them. So many books! But sadly they were 90% romance. Bleh . . .

  6. I live so close to San Francisco, but far enough away that going to those stores just to go to them isn't appealing. Maybe I'll remember to visit them next time I'm headed that way. I've heard Green Apple is awesome!


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