A full bookshelf not only provides a conversation piece for guests, but it also lessens the odds they'll pull out the tome that triggers the trapdoor to your shrine to Don Knotts. Build up book collections and safeguard secrets with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of books at any of Books Inc.'s 12 area locations. Established in 1851 during the California Gold Rush, Books Inc. remains the West Coast's oldest independently owned-and-operated bookseller. A well-read customer support team of some 200 employees tailors the book-buying experience with the kind of personalized service matched only by Choose Your Own Adventure books. Each store is uniquely outfitted with its own interior and exterior styling, creating corner-shop-like ambiances for literary enthusiasts across the Bay Area. In the spirit of its independence, Books Inc. features an Indie Next List, highlighting monthly staff picks in genres of fiction, nonfiction, suspense, and mysterious alleyway encounters that may or may not be fictitious. Readers interested in further doctrines of independence may peruse Books Inc.'s full Declaration of IndieBound allegiance and take solace in the fact that its selection of books is just as burly as its behemoth, big-boxed stepbrothers.
Yelpers give all of Book Inc.'s locations a four-star average or better:
- …the staff here is great. Everyone is friendly. If I'm stuck, I can ALWAYS get a good recommendation. – Bethany P., Alameda location
- Indeed, it's a small bookstore, but it stands out in my mind whenever i think of a bookstore. Maybe because it's really cozy and it's situated in dainty, cute downtown Mt. View. – Monica F., Mountain View location
- …its this location's unrestrained fiction section that keeps me in-store. All along a seemingly one block-long wall to one side and shorter shelves on the on the other side, it is a wonderful gauntlet of literature! – poet d., Market Street location
For Books Inc., it's been a long road, and if you trace the lines back to its origins, it's California's oldest bookstore. After striking gold—literally—back in 1851, Anton Roman set up shop as a bookseller. Although the shop moved, was sold, burned down, changed hands again, and was rebuilt, the spirit remained intact, and today, multiple locations of the indie bookstore have sprouted up across The Golden State. Staff members keep the shelves lined with classic and contemporary tomes in all genres, and a myriad of book clubs help keep the love of literature alive. They also run a vibrant event program featuring author events and readings where patrons can enjoy an experience they can't download.