Sunny's bookshelf
Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

Top Bookstores

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

Berkshire Books, Concord, CA

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA

Borderlands Books, San Francisco, CA

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

Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

Great Good Place for Books, Oakland, CA

Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA

Half Price Books, Concord, CA

Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Strand Books, New York, NY

Sundance Books, Reno, NV

Village Books, Bellingham, WA

Zephyr Books, Reno, NV

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

10 Responses

  1. 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

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. Cannon Beach Book Company, Cannon Beach, OR
    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. 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

    1. 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. 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

Add your thoughts and comments...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for reviews by email

You’ll get email updates when we add a new review or blog post, and we never share your email with anyone else.