Thursday, March 24, 2011

The bookstore in books

Green Apple may never have been in the middle of a literary movement like our eminent neighbor City Lights, but part of being a San Francisco establishment since 1967 (well, at a certain point it became an establishment: Barry Gifford's "used bookshop"--see Really the Blues below--became, in time, recognizable as Green Apple) means that the bookstore has inevitably made its way into cameo roles in a variety of novels and non-fiction works. Here's a non-exhaustive list of some of our better performances:

"Back in San Francisco, at the Green Apple bookstore, I found a copy of Phoenix: the Penguin edition. I saw it and snatched it up the way that one does in these circumstances, fearful that at the last moment someone else was going to beat me to it."

"...Well, no matter; I went out to Green Apple and stocked up, a huge carton of books, the day you left." - from "After You've Gone"

"We don’t know where he lives, but some days we visit him after school at Green Apple Records, on Clement, where he works." (Read an excerpt in the New Yorker.)

"I bought my copy of Really the Blues for a dime in a used bookshop on Clement Street in San Francisco in 1967. " - Barry Gifford, in the preface for a later edition of the book

"He went to Green Apple Books on Clement Street, opened the Buddhist Scriptures, and read..."

"A recent trip to the Bay Area reminded me of just how much I enjoy trolling through well-stocked independent bookstores. Among my favorites is the cavernous Green Apple Books on Clement St. in San Francisco, where I almost always discover some rare or unusual gem to add to my already overstuffed library."

"What a wonder is the used bookstore. You take in the books you've loved, books that have bored you, books that are ratty looking, and you get cash or credit with which to buy more books. If it's a combined new and used bookstore, like the vaunted crazy castle of San Francisco's Green Apple, then the lugging of those boxes across town makes the trip worth the back strain."

"Outside Green Apple Books, the wooden gnome stood sentry."

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