At the beginning of March, I traveled to San Francisco for one night only to run a work event. Due to the ridiculous prices of hotels, I stayed at an Airbnb in Glen Park, which is this adorable little neighborhood mostly known by the people who live there and commute via the BART stop.
Glen Park happens to be home to one of San Fran’s funky bookstores – Bird and Beckett.
Since I’m still learning to use my big camera, the photos didn’t come out as great as I’d hoped. The place is cozier, warmer and more enticing than the photos captured, and yet, it had a fresh air smell, the cool Bay Area light coming in through a back window. It never felt musty or crowded, and what appears to be the disarray of books on the shelves ended up making my perusing that much more fun.
I spent the better part of an hour slowly wandering the stacks – shelves piled high with both new and used books. Luckily for my wallet, I’d only brought a back-pack for my overnight trip, and I didn’t want to lug a ton of books home. I purchased a copy of The Martian in paperback, which I have yet to read, as I’m taking a break from survivalist stories. (I’ll keep you posted on if I like it a future reading life update.)
While I circled the selections, I listened to two women chat about the changes in the neighborhood, the rallying they’re doing to keep things the way they are, their complaints about younger tenants partying late at night. I asked the gal behind the counter if she’d read the book I was buying, she had not, but she’d heard good things. I saw the flyer for the jazz performance that weekend next to a book signed by a local author.
It’s the kind of place that serves a purpose in a community, like a coffee shop, library or church, bringing people together in a quiet way that I love – no internet, no cellphones, just people talking in person and browsing books. I recommend it if you find yourself in this part of SF and in need of a new book.
(If you’re interested in a cool LA store, check out my post about The Last Bookstore)