Calling itself “the West’s oldest independent bookseller,” Books Inc. is a San Francisco and South Bay favorite, with three stores in the city and several on the Peninsula. Featuring a wide range of books — including children’s selections, cookbooks and Jewish titles — the stores regularly host authors’ readings.
Green Apple Books
(415) 387-2272 • greenapplebooks.com
Green Apple Books in San Francisco was founded in 1967 and has grown 10 times from its original 750 square feet, now with two locations: Clement Street in the Richmond and Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset. With a huge selection of new and used books, magazines and music, the store hosts its own authors’ nights and book fairs and also outside events. Exciting upcoming readings from literary luminaires include the likes of Rachel Cusk, Hari Kunzru, John Waters, Michael Chabon and Catherine Lacey. And breaking news: starting in October, Green Apple will be taking over ownership of Fillmore Street institution Browser Books.
(510) 655-1977 • afikomen.com
Since 1991, Berkeley’s Afikomen Judaica has been a community institution, hosting concerts and special events. Offerings include a large selection of books for adults and kids on almost any Jewish topic you can imagine. Also a J. Readers’ Choice for Judaica.
(650) 324-4321 • keplers.com
Launched in Menlo Park in 1955, Kepler’s calls itself “an intellectual and cultural hub for the Peninsula,” hosting a full calendar of author events and book club meetings. The formerly family-owned institution, a leader in the paperback revolution, reinvented itself several years ago with a for-profit bookstore that supports a nonprofit organization offering cultural and educational programming.
(415) 927-0960 • bookpassage.com
Marin winner Book Passage, which also has a store in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, not only features a wide selection of books, including top-selling fiction and travel guides, it also hosts hundreds of author events, as well as writing and language classes, literary salons and annual conferences.