Stores We Love : Green Apple

Published July 13, 2009 by Molly


Green Apple is a rambling independent bookstore in San Francisco. As a kid I lived several blocks west of the bookstore, and spent a lot of time combing the Used Sociology section (full of racy books), the graphic novels and the Nancy Drew section. The store smelled like fresh envelopes and old dust. You could stand around reading for hours. It is still a great place to find books.

As with any mecca of specialists, Green Apple boasted an astoundingly knowledgeable staff. I remember one long afternoon spent browsing the SciFi paperbacks in search of Philip K. Dick novels. There wasn’t much I hadn’t read, so I asked a guy in a Green Apple shirt what he might recommend in Dick’s place. He paused, ruffled his beard, and cocked his head sideways to scan the SciFi titles.

“Arthur C. Clarke,” he decided, plucking a thin volume from the shelf. It cost one dollar. “Clarke is the poor man’s Philip K. Dick,” he explained, and rang me up without asking if I wanted the book. Which I did, of course. Of course I did.

  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • TwitThis
  • E-mail this story to a friend!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 comments so far

  1. puglyfeet says:

    I love Green Apple Books, too. Could easily get lost in there for hours. They also have Green Apple Books — the music store, too.

  2. April says:

    My mom used to take me there! You sure nailed the smell…I think I can remember sitting on the floor next to the book shelves. I’m so glad this store is still around.

  3. Matt says:

    Reminds me of this other bookstore on Whyte Ave. in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. The Wee Book Inn. It’s a nice little used book store. It’s great.

  4. Roman says:

    I work here, and I’ve never actually thought about the smell before. Envelopes….

  5. Daniel says:

    Wait a minute, all the racy books are always in the Sociology section? How have I gone through four years of a Sociology bachelors degree and not discovered this…? Why haven’t my professors assigned THOSE books as reading material?