When I had a few moments to myself during my sister’s wedding weekend in San Francisco, I did something I love to do when visiting another town, visit a bookstore. And there was a delightful independent bookstore not far from my hotel, Books, Inc in Laurel Village.
This smallish (compared to the chain stores) shop reminded me how much I enjoy browsing in an “old-fashioned” bookstore. Here, instead of immersing yourself in one section, you find yourself starting in one section, then moving without thinking into another.
This store was one of those “independent stores,” you know, those who complain how they are losing business toÂ AmazonÂ and the chain stores. Â I sympathize with this bookstore’s complaint.
I have tried to frequent such stores because the staff there tend to know and love books, but find that at some shops, the highly literate clerks have an attitude or lean far, far to the left and their store’s selection shows it.
Not so at Books, Inc. While I chanced upon a number of left-wing books on the shelves, I also saw offerings from Bruce Thornton (colleague/ideological ally of Victor Davis Hanson), David Frum and William F. Buckley, Jr. Jonah Goldberg’sÂ Liberal FascismÂ was prominently displayed.
Not only that, The staff could not have been friendlier. As a result, I felt compelled to buy a book (always nice to find a reason to add another volume to my collection). Â I don’t mind paying extra for a book when I buy it at a store with supportive staff and unbiased offerings.
If Independent bookstores are to survive, they will be places like Books, Inc. in San Francisco’s Laurel Village where you have a friendly staff and a selection which includes a panoply of political perspectives.
I had forgotten the pleasure of browsing in a smaller store where one section just flows into another. And the delight in perusing volumes which cover the gamut of American political opinion — as well as mythological texts, collections of poetry and bound reflections on human kindness.
So next time you’re in the Bay Area, pay a visit toÂ Books, Inc. Â And if the shop’s selection is as diverse as that I observed, buy a book and tell the clerk there you appreciate their inclusion of conservative tomes. Â That is, if you think the market should reward broad-minded booksellers.