We've confirmed the participants and the start time for our July 25 walking tour of San Francisco indie bookstores. Here's the info:
The tour starts at 12:00 pm at Get Lost Travel Books at 1825 Market St. We will have Northern California Independent Booksellers Association canvas book bags for the first 30 attendees, which we are currently trying to fill up with some cool items.
Get Lost is accessible from both the 16th St and the Civic Center BART stops.
Get Lost is one of SF's premiere bookstores for travel guides, travel literature, and maps. They also have a great, hand-picked collection of international literature, and they will be running a special display of international lit for tour attendees.
The other stops on the tour will be:
- The Green Arcade: A very cool addition to the Hayes Valley area. Green Arcade has been around for approximately 8 months and specializes in titles about sustainable living, green architecture and energy, the slow food movement, and organics. They also have a very interesting, well-selected collection of fiction, and the owner will be discussing a few of the more interesting titles he's currently stocking.
- Great Books Symposium: This store has been around for two years and has a very interesting model–it is both a bookstore and a space for multi-week symposiums where a group of 15 meets to discuss a classic work of literature. These are guided discussions similar to a very serious book group. GBS's bookstore stocks the widest selection of classics I have ever seen in one bookstore, and they are all hand-picked among the various translations and editions available (one of the owners reads Sanskrit, the other Greek). The owner will be telling the group a little about the symposiums and the classics they offer.
- Books Inc.: This store offers an incredible selection of both fiction and nonfiction. This location also has a great selection of LGBT authors and some great staff picks.
- The Booksmith: This store is an SF institution, and I believe it holds the world's record for most readings given by William T. Vollmann. In addition to Vollmann, they are always bringing interesting authors by to talk, and they run an awesome "Found in Translation" reading group that discusses a different work in translation each month.
There will be plenty of time at each location to browse, compare, buy, and discuss purchases with bookstore staff and other tour-goers. In addition to myself, the tour will be lead by Annie Janusch of San Francisco's Center for the Art of Translation and Elizabeth Wadell of The Quarterly Conversation.