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Kinokuniya Bookstore © Michael Ocampo/Flickr
Kinokuniya Bookstore © Michael Ocampo/Flickr

The 9 Best Bookstores Near USF

Picture of Natalie Savio
Updated: 5 January 2017
There are several outdoor activities to do around University of San Francisco (USF) as well as plenty of stores to shop at, but for those of us who are literary enthusiasts, we always find ourselves drawn to small bookstores. Even if you’re not a bookworm, there’s something about these little venues that catches the eye—maybe it’s the colorful displays, the small knick-knacks or stationary, the art, or maybe it’s just the never ending search for a great book. So whatever it is that draws you in, use this guide to the best bookstores by USF to get yourself to the door.

University of San Francisco © Michael Fraley/Flickr

University of San Francisco © Michael Fraley/Flickr

USF Bookstore

For everything USF, check out the university’s bookstore. Filled with textbooks, USF apparel, school supplies, and more, University of San Francisco’s Bookstore is located on the first floor of the University Center. The USF Bookstore is also an Apple Authorized Campus Store, selling Mac computers and iPads directly from school for a lowered student price. In addition, the bookstore makes for a great shopping destination for gifts for family and friends or for just a quick stop to pick up everyday school essentials such as binders, notebooks, and pens.

USF Bookstore, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 422-6493

USF Lounge Outside Bookstore © Michael Fraley/Flickr

USF Lounge Outside Bookstore © Michael Fraley/Flickr

Green Apple Books

At Green Apple Books, customers can buy and or sell used books seven days a week. In addition to novels, the store also purchases and sells DVDs, LPs, and CDs. With over 60,000 new books and more than 100,000 used books, the bookstore is an excellent one-stop shop for book hunting. Green Apple Books also selects one novel each month as their ‘Book of the Month,’ which means that if a customer purchases it and doesn’t like the book, they can get their money back in full. Correspondingly, customers can also subscribe to the ‘Apple-a-Month Club,’ which provides users with new fiction novels handpicked by the employees and mailed directly to their houses with a note saying why the book was chosen.

Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 387-2272

Green Apple Books © Mark Hillary/Flickr

Green Apple Books © Mark Hillary/Flickr

The Booksmith

The Booksmith offers best-selling books and hard-to-find titles all on Haight Street. The independent bookstore also provides bike parking, excellent staff recommendations, and author readings—for a schedule of what is coming up, click here. There are also other events hosted by the bookshop such as ‘Bookswap.’ For just 30 dollars, guests are given dinner, alcoholic beverages, store merchandise, and discounts, all while the shop is closed to outside customers. All guests have to do is bring a book to swap with the other participants and meet some friends in the process.

The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 863 8688

The Booksmith © Steve Rhodes/Flickr

The Booksmith © Steve Rhodes/Flickr

Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore

Also located on Haight Street, Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore is, like its name suggests, an anarchist collective-run bookstore with radical literature and events. One of the more popular events hosted by Bound Together Bookstore every spring is the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair. The entire day consists of panelists and guest speakers and is visited by booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and more. There is also an art show featuring local, radical artists.

Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore, 1369 Haight St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 431-8355

Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore © Simopala/Flickr

Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore © Simopala/Flickr

Kinokuniya San Francisco

Kinokuniya San Francisco is a local chain and Japanese-based bookstore featuring an assortment of Asian books and magazines along with DVDs and some stationary. All of the events hosted by Kinokuniya are free and open to the public; events include talks and book signings or children story time spoken in Japanese. All that said, the store does provide books written in English.

Kinokuniya San Francisco, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 567-7625

Kinokuniya Bookstore © Michael Ocampo/Flickr

Kinokuniya Bookstore © Michael Ocampo/Flickr

Park Life

Park Life is also not a traditional book store. The venue carries creative design-based goods such as books, prints, paper goods, homeware, jewelry, and original artwork. Park Life recently opened in April this year and will be co-producing the first annual San Francisco Artbook Fair from July 22-24, 2016 at the Minnesota Street Project. The event will exhibit art books from over 70 independent publishers and signings, lectures, workshops, and music.

Park Life, 220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 386-7275

Park Life © Jason Saul/Flickr

Park Life © Jason Saul/Flickr

Books Inc.

Books Inc. is a longstanding bookstore that began in 1946 and has now grown to 11 stores in the Bay Area with over 200 employees. That being said, there is always an event happening each day at one or more of the store’s locations. Books Inc. is infamous for its selections of new fiction, nonfiction, and children books. Books Inc. also offers a large array of book clubs that can be found here, as well as writing classes.

Books Inc., 3515 California St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 221-3666

Books Inc. © Morten Skogly/Flickr

Books Inc. © Morten Skogly/Flickr

Comix Experience

Located on Divisadero Street, Comix Experience is a large comic book store with unusual finds, artist signings and art. As San Francisco’s oldest and most diverse comic book store, Comix Experience is also home to graphic novels, which are most prevalent in this store’s location as opposed to their Ocean Avenue store. Comix Experience also has a Graphic Novel Club and a Kid’s Graphic Novel Club, both of which offer monthly private events and curated selections of the best graphic novels.

Comix Experience, 305 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 863-9258

Comix Experience © Clinton Steeds/Flickr

Comix Experience © Clinton Steeds/Flickr

Globus Slavic Bookstore

Globus Slavic Bookstore is the Richmond District’s very own Russian bookstore. Globus Slavic Bookstore offers Russian cookbooks, atlases, poetry, dictionaries, modern fiction, children’s books, and books about gardening, travel, history, religion, etc. There are even popular English books that have been translated, such as Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh. For such a small venue, the bookstore has what seems like an endless supply of Russian books and because of its size, customers have to ring a doorbell to be let in through a locked gate.

Globus Slavic Bookstore, 332 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 668-4723