We just got back from San Francisco and one of my favorites parts of visiting is going to the bookstores. San Francisco is filled with bookstores. One of the best, well-known ones is probably Green Apple.
On the day we arrived in San Francisco my friend said, what do you want to do? My response? Go to Green Apple Books! (We took a detour to the Golden Gate bridge first because it was “sunny” and we wanted some good pictures. But right after we made a beeline to Green Apple.)
Here’s why I love this place and why anyone visiting San Francisco needs to make sure this is part of their visit.
1. It’s iconic – At just 25 years old, Richard Savoy, who had completed a tour in the Army and worked as a radio technician, wanted to do something more. So he opened Green Apple Books in 1967 and it’s been around ever since.
2. It has serious independent bookstore cred – That’s right, in the age of Amazon and when it seems even large corporate book retailers are barely surviving, Green Apple is still around and people love it. The place is full of books, stacked, piled, shelved in every corner and crevice. It feels like they might all just be too heavy for the old building and fall down on you, exactly how an indie bookstore should feel! Independent bookstores are the heart of the book world. So, if you’re in San Francisco, maybe skip over there and check it out.
3. It has great personal touches – Green Apple has a friendly, helpful staff complete with sincere smiles and a sincere love of books. This isn’t just a job for them. Plus, their handwritten recommendations are also super adorable!
4. It has a huge poetry selection. It takes up half a floor filled with small and large, thin and thick books of all kinds of different poetry. If you are a fan of the lyrical word, this is the place for you.
5. It has clothes – That’s right, clothes. And, yes, when I was there, my daughter and I bought matching blue t-shirts along with our large pile of books. And they have bags. My daughter got one for the holidays and loves it. So, buy a book and get a bag. I think that’s a good deal.
6. It has new AND used books. Not just new. Not just used. New AND Used. It’s like chocolate mixed with peanut butter all over again! You don’t have to be limited to one or the other. The selection of both options is immense.
7. You can get a tattoo. Well a fake one. But, it will be a fake one with a great literary quote! I got one from Jane Erye. I think I’ll wait until summer so I can show it off.
8. It’s got unicorns! Ironically, this unicorn of a book store, also sells unicorns and other tchotchkes that are kind of irresistible. No, really, we bought the unicorn. Couldn’t help ourselves.
9. It has an incredible YA section. From younger to older, the YA section curves with the uneven walls around the back middle level of the store and towers up to the ceiling.
10. It has a whimsical sense of humor. Yes, the store is fully of funny quotes, comics and humorous signs. You could spend hours uncovering all the tiny details of humor, if you can manage to take your eyes off the books. It takes its books seriously, but not much else.