Holding the title “The West’s Oldest Independent Bookseller,” Books Inc., established in 1857, is living proof that an indie book seller can adapt, survive, and even prosper, despite Gold Rush busts and booms, numerous earthquakes, The Great Depression, fires, death, bankruptcy, and, most important (and probably toughest of all), the rapidly changing bookselling climate. Owners Margie and Michael Tucker have created a warm, inviting environment, hosting book clubs, author events, and travel lit groups—everyone is welcome to attend. The chain has four city locations, as well as two Compass Books at San Francisco International Airport. Hours vary by store, but most open and 10am and close no earlier than 7pm, seven days a week (with the Castro store open until 10pm nightly).
- Erika Lennert