I consider myself an independent bookstore devotee, which means I wander into bookstores any chance I get and take a look at which books are on display.
Earlier this week, I feel in love. Again. I gave a reading at The Green Arcade on Market Street and Gough, a store founded by Patrick Marks, who used to be a book buyer at the now-defunct Cody’s.
Green Arcade is a community bookstore, which may not seem so obvious since it is located on a busy intersection. But it sits on the edge of Hayes Valley with its hundreds of apartments and restored Victorians.
The Green Arcade feels welcoming from the moment you walk in. The walls are painted a bright red and music comes from a vintage jukebox rescued from an old San Francisco bar, The Golden Spike. There are upholstered armchairs scattered around and the store’s employees have put up tags signaling particular types of books. There are separate sections for the books of Michael Pollan and Rebecca Solnit, for example.
The Green Arcade specializes in “green” books on climate change, gardening, and sustainable agriculture. (Hence it’s name) Why was I reading from Towers of Gold, a book about 19th century California, then? Well, Patrick Marks also loves history and makes it a subspecialty of the store. (There is also a great kids section)
The vintage juke box