It’s hard to choose just one bookstore to call our favorite, so here are some choices right up there near the top.  We haven’t been everywhere so feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.  

Bay Books, San Ramon, CA
www.baybooks.us

Berkshire Books, Concord, CA
www.berkshire-books.com

Bookshelf Stores, Inc., Truckee, CA
www.bookshelfstores.com

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
www.bookshopsantacruz.com

The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
www.booksmith.com

Borderlands Books, San Francisco, CA
www.borderlands-books.com

Canetti’s Bookshop, Orinda, CA
[email protected]
(925) 258-9076

Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
www.changinghands.com

Dharma Bookstores,  Reno, NV
www.dharmabooks.biz

Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
www.eagleharborbooks.com

Great Good Place for Books, Oakland, CA
greatgoodplace.indiebound.com

Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
www.greenapplebooks.com

Half Price Books, Concord, CA
www.hpb.com

Orinda Books, Orinda, CA
www.orindabooks.com

Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
www.powells.com

Strand Books, New York, NY
www.strandbooks.com

Sundance Books, Reno, NV
www.sundancebooks.com

Village Books, Bellingham, WA
www.villagebooks.com

Zephyr Books, Reno, NV
www.zephyrbooks.com

Our list was originally posted January 2010, and has been updated several times since.

10 Responses to Top Bookstores

  1. Gretchen Seifert says:

    I’m so glad my friend Jennifer Jennings shared your website with me, loved it, know I will continue to read, and to share with my book club. I would like to add my favorite book store to your growing list: Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

    • Sunny says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Gretchen. I’m reading and writing as fast as I can, so there’ll be some new reviews and other comments soon.

  2. Jim hallberg says:

    I have to disagree with you about Canetti’s Bookshop in Orinda. I was there a few weeks ago and their selection was very limited. They had the obvious, readily available books but the store is so small that there is no depth to any genre. If you’re looking for something that is out-of-print or a bit obscure, I would put them at the bottom of your list.

    • Sunny Solomon says:

      Interesting comments, but as a book scout your take on Canetti’s may be quite a bit different than that of Canetti’s regular customers. I can’t find fault with the selection of books in such small quarters.

  3. Jim hallberg says:

    Bay Books has a nice selection but they are not willing to pay a fair price when buying used books. A few years ago I took in about 4 boxes of books. Several employees came out of the back room and all began looking at my books and checking stock, etc. Then each employee separately added up the value of the books they had checked. Then the cashier  combined the totals from each employee’s machine onto one machine and did a few additional calculations. After all that work they only bought about 15 books for about $1.00 per book. It was hardly worth my time and gas for such a trivial amount of money. Needless to say I never went back.

    • Sunny Solomon says:

      Really feel I need to again mention that you are responding as a book scout. I know first-hand the popularity of Bay Books in San Ramon and that they are an active and important part of their community.

  4. Trudi Gardner says:

    Cannon Beach Book Company, Cannon Beach, OR
     http://www.cannonbeachbooks.com/
    One of the U.S. Best Beaches has one popular book store.  A trip to this north Oregon Coast town should always include this bookstore. Usually has a lot of books for writers.

  5. P Gordon says:

    I am not sure if your list is intended to include bookstores for used books, but the bookstores below are worth checking out for those who buy a lot of books, and need to keep the cost down.

    Berkshire Books
    3480 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94519
    (925) 685-9999

    Half Price Books
    1935 Mount Diablo St, Concord, CA 94520
    (925) 288-9060

    • Yep – they’re both worth citing and I will get them up there, asap. Just goes to show you how much Bonanza/Clayton Books in Clayton is missed. Berkshire is great and he’s always got insightful suggestions. Thanks for the reminder. Should I know you from Clayton Books?

  6. Dave Holt says:

    Hi Sunny. I haven’t been there yet but it looks like Joel Harris has opened a new store in Walnut Creek! Meet Swan’s Fine Books, Used – Rare – Collectible
    1381 Locust Street, Walnut Creek
    Open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 to 7:00
    (925) 935-1190 http://www.swansfinebooks.com

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