If you are visiting San Fransisco by any chance, this list will be a great guide to the best bookstore San Francisco has.
In these times of digital printing and reading, it isn’t easy to review an extensive collection of paperbacks or hardcovers. But it’s not impossible, though. The classic way of reading from actual books is more fun than reading it through digital.
Remember the smell of new books? Do you remember how different they are from the old books?
Do you remember the feeling of excitement and curiosity that spiked up in you when you hold a new book in your hand? Just when you can’t wait to feel the sensation of turning the page with your fingers.
These experiences are precious to book lovers and still treasured by many. Several bookstores are open and ready to be explored by you.
Let’s get right into the list!
List of Bookstore San Francisco-
1) City Lights Bookstore
City Lights Bookstore is one of the oldest bookstore San Francisco, CA, and is still in business in full drive. This bookstore was found in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin. They are one of the independent bookstores in San Francisco, CA. City Lights also houses its own publishing company, and it’s known as City Lights publishers.
It was City lights bookstore that gave voice to the Beat Poet movement and helped in the movement. City lights booksellers publish a range of books that might be limited in numbers.
It began as an all paperback bookstore but now offers all kinds of books. It offers three floors of all newly released books in paperback. They have a range of titles, and you can find any small or rare books here. Specially published books can also be found here.
They have a variety of genre lists when it comes to books. They have three floors of poetry books, graphic novels, literature in translation, philosophical books, books on spirituality, children’s fiction, art, and more.
City Lights also hosts several author events for readers. If you are done with wandering around the bookstore, you can walk to the nearby Beat museum to learn more about the history of the city lights bookstore.
City Lights also offers a poetry room. Just roam around the bookstore exploring the different titles and then go up to the poetry room for some poetry readings and calm your mind. Visiting the City Lights bookstore is an experience you don’t want to miss out on, especially as a book lover.
It can surely be counted in the best bookstores list in San Fransisco. City Lights is open from 12:00 PM to 8:00 Pm throughout the week.
2) Chronicle Books
Chronicle Books is among the independent bookstores and also where publishing takes place. They are a four-floor store with San Francisco, CA as the location. There are different spaces allotted to marketing, contract, business matters, and publishing operations. They have a lot of coffee table books.
They especially deal with a great selection of designer cooking books, picture books, books for browsing, and fun gifts related to books. However, they do host many events like author events or author readings, trivia nights for readers.
Chronicle Books has modern decor and is hygienic in nature. It has a pretty welcoming environment, and everything is facing up where you can see from just one glance. Along with these products, they have many books, calendars, cards, and more in their bookstore.
3) Green Apple Books
Green Apple Books was established in 1967 and has been through several years of ups and downs. But it managed to pull through and now stands to be the largest bookstore in San Francisco, CA.
They have a wide selection of new and used books in their collection. They have non-fiction books, science fiction, fantasy, kids’ books, and cookbooks at the main front. They also have a small selection of manga that they offer.
Along with these book collections, Green Apple books also have a modernized collection of music and DVDs. It won’t be easy to find other shops or stores to find rare titles and a huge collection of good books. It is a bookstore San Francisco has that displays media and literature together.
4) Dog Eared Books
Dog Eared Books is a bookstore on 900 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA. It is a small store, but you can find new release hardcovers and paperbacks along with some used books too. It is a perfect place to find new and used books and books by independent publishers.
Their Castro St bookstore has a huge collection of LGBT+ books that you can find in any bookstore in San Francisco. They also run a monthly book club dedicated to the same genre of books.
Dog Eared Books is very keen on featuring its local writers and local artists. They display the work of local writers and give special attention to them. They often hang paintings and art by local artists in their bookstores and they for sale.
They are open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM throughout the week. After exploring the store, you can go for a coffee in the neighborhood cafe, Blue Fig Coffee, on the 21st.
5) Adobe Books
Adobe Books is a cozy bookstore and a gallery filled with amazing art collections. They are a store filled with everything of literary and artistic sense. It is a great place to find hard-to-find books. It is like a library filled with a huge collection of books and a comfortable place to read them.
Adobe Books showcases the art of the local artists on their walls and hosts various events every year. They organize different events like author signings, book reading clubs, and more for both the writers and readers. It is a bookstore San Francisco has that offers you a combination of art and literary matter.
If you are looking for a place to spend your time reading and relaxing, you should visit Adobe Books Bookstore. They are open from noon to 7:00 PM throughout the week.
6) Book Passage
The location of Book Passage bookstore is in the Bay area, downtown San Francisco CA. It has served the literary community for more than 40 years now. It’s home to a variety of different books and a place where literary events are hosted. Different events like author reading, signing events, and more are held in this small bookstore.
It can be compared to having a structure similar to that of a small neighborhood store. It has a small outlet in the ferry building. Along with the author’s events, it also holds annual conferences and language classes for readers.
You should try and visit this bookstore for a different experience and attend great literary events. They are open from 09:00 AM to 7:00 PM throughout the week.
7) Folio Books
The location of Folio Books is in Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA. They are more onto the adult side when it comes to booking collection. So, if you are looking for more mature and adult matters, you should visit this bookstore.
They have a great collection of sci-fi books along with other different genres. They make for a wonderful neighborhood store.
If you wish to visit, they are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM throughout the week.
8) Browser Books
Browser Books was established in 1980. The location of the bookstore is Fillmore ST, Pacific Heights, in San Francisco, CA. It is a very general bookstore that offers books in different categories like mystery, fantasy, fiction, cooking, world literature, horror, and more.
In 2019, Green Apple Books brought browser books from their owner and gave it a whole new look, adding new books and categories to the store. They gave a completely new look to the bookstore San Francisco style.
They are open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm throughout the week.
9) Alexander Book Company
Alexander Books is a three-floor store located in SoMa, San Francisco, CA. They showcase a wide range of newly released books. If you are looking for any bestsellers or books that your friends are talking about, there is a great chance that you will find them here.
Their wide range of categories is literature, fiction, mystery, children’s fiction, illustration, fashion designing, graphic design, and more. Their children’s section is especially popular.
After exploring the bookstore, you can go out and explore San Francisco. This store is located in such a way that you can walk to other San Francisco attractions like the Ferry Building and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
They are open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays and closed on the weekends.
Booksmith is located on Shrader St and Cole St, Haight St in San Francisco, CA. This store exhibits a variety of magazines, hardcovers, and more. Their owner hosts an author event called Berkley Arts and letters. So, there are many events that you can attend here and in the nearby event center.
They also carry a lot of writing by local authors. The staff is very professional and creative in their own ways. They come from different areas of authors, journalists, illustrators, and more.
Booksmith isn’t just a store but a combination of a bookstore, a bar, and an event center. There are different clubs that you can join depending on your interests. It is a bookstore San Francisco has that lets you experience a special lifestyle.
Some of the genres showcased in the store include counterculture books, non-fiction, literature, sociology, world literature, domestic and imported magazines, children’s fiction, and more.
It is a place that you must visit for an exclusive experience of books and a different lifestyle of its own. They are open from morning 11:00 AM to evening 7:00 PM throughout the week.
Apart from the usual library visits, try out the bookstores in the city with a wide range of collections. You can visit with your friends and discuss your favorite books or attend literary events in these places.
These bookstores are all based on location through which you can access other various attractions of the city and feed your stomach while on the trip. San Francisco has several other bookstores that you can visit and enjoy your reading time.
Some of the other bookstores that you can try out include Alley cats bookstore, Borderlands bookstore, Blackbird bookstore, Omnivore books on food, and more bookstore San Francisco inhabits.
Have fun exploring, reading, and discovering new writing through the streets of San Francisco!