Visiting a use bookstore is an adventure I like. First, I can find books I want to read at a reasonable price. I can also relive my past, seeing old friends that were the books of my youth. I can also see special editions that were signed by the author which makes me feel in contact with him. I also love to peruse the special edition collections just to see the beautiful books.
Unfortunately, due to the recession some of my favorite places have closed, including well known ones in San Francisco and Berkeley in the area where I live. And just yesterday, a major book store chain announced it was for sale. Yet, when I go to these stores, I see plenty of people in them shopping. Below is a list of used bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area that are open and functioning as of today.
My current favorite bookstore is Half Price Books in Fremont, California. They are located in the Pacific Commons shopping center at 47473 Boscell Road. This store is much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. It has a good selection of used books in every genre including the sometimes hard to find science fiction. It also sells used textbooks, so is a good place to get some additonal resources for school. They sell some new books, but not very many. They also sell used DVDs and other media, sometimes including video games. They buy back books at any time, and will take all your books you bring in to sell. They are open 7 days a week and this store has plenty of parking. You can also request copies of things you want, but are not there. The staff is very friendly. There are also Half Price Book outlets in Concord, California and Berkeley, California if Fremont is a little for you. They have an internet site at halfpricebooks.com.
I also recommend The Book Shop in Hayward, Ca. They are located at 1007 B Street. They have a good selection of used books, especially paperbacks. They also sell some new books, and feature history books on the Bay Area. This is another store that is bigger on the inside than it seems. Their mystery section is especially large. This store is also open 7 days a week and does buy books during certain hours when their buyer is available. It is best to call them to check. They give cash or credit for future books. This store has fair parking and is next to several cafes so you can buy your books, and then go read them with a snack. This store will also take special orders for you and put holds on requested books when they come it. The staff is very helpful here as well. This store is also a very short walk from the main Hayward BART station. A special note here is that some internet places show this store with very limited hours. This was only true for a short while book clubs if you want to meet other folks.
So, if you want to visit used bookstores in the Bay Area, I recommend these three. All are very well run and have been in business for a long time. And, as any used book buyer knows, sometimes you have to look at several stores to find what you want. I know you can find most things on-line, but is it really worth missing all the other books you will encounter at the used book store? I think not. Who knows, maybe another pair of eyes will find yours and you will live happily ever after. It could happen.when the owner was ill. It is open full time again with a great staff. You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Another store I frequent is in Newark, California. The Book End is in the Newark Square Shopping Center at 5678 Thornton Avenue. This store is open only to the early evenings and has limited hours on Sundays (afternoon). This store specializes in romance and children’s books, but they have used books of every genre. They also have a great collection of new books that you can purchase as well as special gifts. This store does buy back on certain days and will also take your special orders. Parking is plentiful. You will find plenty to browse here. The staff is very encouraging and helpful, and once you visit you will return. They also sponsor book clubs for those that want to meet other people.
So, get out there and browse. Who knows who or what you might discover at your local used bookstore?