My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 1

My Coast to Coast Vacation was very spur of the moment and probably one of the most spontaneous thing I ever did. It’s truly something that I will always look back on with a smile on my face.

A detailed account of my adventures is detailed on my other blog here.

I’ll be focusing mainly on the West Coast part of my trip in this post.

Day 1- San Francisco

As I waited for one bookstore to open, I found a Little Free Library a block or two down from it at the Noe Valley Town Square.


My first bookstore was Charlie’s Corner a relatively new children’s bookstore that opened up in 2015. They were at their temporary location since the original venue was going through some seismic retrofitting. They have multiple story times everyday, a membership club and other fun stuff. They also have Maggie Rudy’s beautiful Mouse City on display!

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While walking to The Castro, I ran into Folio Books. I loved they had a tent in the middle of their children’s area.

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In The Castro, I didn’t realize they had another Dog Eared Books location. They had lots of LGBTQ face outs.

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One of the bookstores I’d been wanting to go to but they always managed to be closed the other times I’ve gone to San Francisco was Arkipelago Books– a Filipino bookstore in San Francisco’s South of Market(SOMA). This tiny store got rather busy and there seemed to be lots of literary things going on. I’m glad I finally went!

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Even though I lived in San Francisco when I was younger and in Chinatown for awhile- not to mention my other visits since then-, I’d never actually gone to the Chinatown Branch Library (renamed Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library in 2010.) With my recent obsessions in visiting Carnegie locations, I decided to finally go.

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I went to Grace Cathedral to walk its labyrinths when, sitting in the courtyard, I noticed a room with shelves of books. Lo and behold, it was a library! The Marialice King Hale Library is located in Chapter House.

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Some other literary sights I saw that day…

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Day 2- South San Francisco & Berkeley

After all that walking, I was seriously considering staying in the next day and resting but I went off to see a Carnegie library in South San Francisco and a children’s bookstore in Berkeley.

I had lived in South San Francisco also and I don’t remember going to any libraries there. And who’d have guessed the Grand Avenue Library was a Carnegie?

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I hadn’t been to Berkeley before so it was nice to go there. I loved the Berkeley Central Library. My favorite part of was the listening station. They also had a Friends’ Store. I enjoyed talking to the children’s librarians there.

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I visited Pegasus Books, their downtown Berkeley location, and loved their mix of new and old books, CD’s and DVD’s. They’ll be celebrating 50 years in June!

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On my way to another bookstore, I saw Half Price Books so of course I had to check it out. I didn’t realize they were a Texas-based chain that has now over 100 locations nationwide.

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Books, Inc. also had a location in Berkeley.

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What I really wanted to visit was Mr. Mopp’s Children’s Books & Toys. A specialty toy shop since the 1960’s, they opened up their book annex in 2013. I had a fun time talking to the employee there about kids books we love!

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Later that day, I explored Museum of Modern Art and was delighted to find a poop up library. The Public Knowledge Library is a collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library focusing on the culture (history and perseverance) of the city.

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Day 3- Airports

In the San Francisco International Airport, Books, Inc. has two locations of their Compass Books. Since I was flying domestic, I saw the one in terminal 3.


A layover in Denver International Airport meant I was able to visit the Tattered Cover Book Store there. But because I’m obsessive and it was easy to get around, I went to all three.

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I can’t believe I’d gone to so many bookstores and libraries on my trip already. But there was more to come!

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