I don’t know about you, but my home is full of books. Bookcases line the walls of my lounge and my office, the shelves sagging under the weight. And there are more books squirreled away, hidden in boxes, under the beds. Which is probably why, of all shops, I feel most at home and at my happiest in bookstores. Here are a few quotes from like-minded souls.
“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.” —Jen Campbell
“Browsing through the shelves in bookstores or libraries, I was completely happy.” —Louis L’Amour
“I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted—and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.”
—Mary Ann Shaffer
“Don’t patronize the chain bookstores. Every time I see some author scheduled to read and sign his books at a chain bookstore, I feel like telling him he’s stabbing the independent bookstores in the back.” —Lawrence Ferlinghetti
I will end on that quote from the centenarian poet, publisher and co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco…..a bookstore that I will be visiting in the next few days. One of many of San Francisco’s independent bookstores on my “to visit” list.
I’ll soon be heading off to San Francisco to catch up with my eldest son and his wife….and aim to visit as many of the amazing independent bookstores there as I can. Immediately Green Apple Books, City Lights, Alley Cat Books and Dog Eared Books spring to mind, but there are dozens more scattered around this awesome city. Since my blog is primarily about books, writers, and bookstores, this will form the “bones” of my trip, but I’ll also flesh it out with lots of other bits and pieces and pursue my other passions of photography and travel…..not to mention the cafes and boutique breweries, bars, restaurants, galleries and shops. Speaking of galleries, there will be visits to photography galleries and art galleries plus there is a lot of art in public spaces outdoors such as the hundreds of murals in the Mission district. Then again, San Francisco also has some wonderful parks and open spaces to explore too, so after exhausting ourselves in the parks on this side of the bridge, we’ll probably head over the Golden Gate Bridge and see the mighty Redwoods in Muir Woods and since we’re almost there already… there are the vineyards of Sonora to check out.
We’ll also be spending a few days on the Monterey peninsula and a long weekend in Portland, Oregon – where I’ll spend some of my time in Powell’s bookstore – the biggest independent bookstore in the USA.
If anyone has any other tips on “must see” things in San Francisco, OR if you have any requests for things you’d like me to check out and blog about while in SF, please let me know in the comments below. I won’t be going to visit Alcatraz as I have already been there twice – once a few years ago and once back in 1986….but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.