Green Apple Books, a quaint and unique book store in SF was a particular joy to visit when I was travelling on the West Coast. Apparently it’s ten times the size it was when it opened back in 1967. I didn’t ask any of the locals about it, I simply wandered in one day and was looking forward to discovering a lovely book haven. I sadly didn’t take pictures as I didn’t have a camera with me, but allow me to take you there in your mind’s eye….
Well I wasn’t disappointed. It is a book haven and then some. New books, old books, battered books but well-loved books and the atmosphere created in Green Apple was one I wanted to linger in. I remember the WOW collection of books but also the décor of the store – the towering book cases lining the wall, stuffed full of words, images and literary bliss.
Hours I spent just gaping in awe – only looking down as I stepped on a creaky floorboard which only added to my book searching bliss. I didn’t really know what I was looking for but I found it. That’s the measure of a very good book store. I even wondered at one stage if I would be able to drag myself away. Would they let me sleep here I wondered? I saw a comfy chair and thought about building a wall of books around me, but the desire to read what I’d bought was too strong and so I did leave in the end.
The books here are the main attraction but the hand written signs and maps were a notable second. Someone has literally made and crated this store with their hands. Handwritten signs and maps. Signs about the till. The written word – both outside and inside the books. And I loved the haphazard storage as it added to the thrills and spills of what a good book shop should really offer: a search facility with a great literary prize at the end. The ‘read around the world section’ was a particular favourite of mine. Reading around the world is my favourite thing ever and the reason I do this blog! I’ve found a bosom buddy I thought to myself. I was meant to wander in here!
The sounds and smells of Green Apple made it a day to remember. The staff was so friendly and I almost asked them for a job so I could stay there forever. This is the Apple store I love – although I do have an iphone and have been known to read books on it – there is no joy as pure as finding a thrift book store and losing yourself in the wealth of the printed literary word. Browsing on the apple phone or in the Green apple shop? Both healthy but there’s nothing like the feel and smell of a new literary friend.
I very much hope I have the pleasure of returning one day. I miss it already.