Our bookstore recommendation today is actually a three-fer, as “Dog Eared Books” is the umbrella name for a trio of San Francisco bookstores owned by Kate Rosenberger and George Kirby Desha. The original store is called Phoenix Books, while the offspring stores are Dog Eared Books and Red Hill Books. Got that straight? Good. Because you’ll need all your wits about you when you confront their unique brand of tough literary love:
“We are three fiercely independent stores who will look you in the eye as we sell you the book you’d been searching for. We will pay cash or give store credit for your books—and feed your dog a treat as we’re doing it. Get lost among our new, used or remaindered stacks for hours—we encourage it. Ask us for a book even if you can’t remember the title—our staff of genuine literary nerds welcome the challenge.”
Gaah! Yes sir, yes ma’am! None of us even owns a dog, but we’re tempted to get one solely in order to fulfill this commanding call to action. We’re also tempted to take up the staff’s challenge: we’re thinking of this really cool book we once saw, we can’t remember the title, but we think it had some sort of doughnut-shaped clay thing on the cover, and it might have had something to do with Native Americans…wow, yes, it is Abbeville Press’s Pottery by American Indian Women: The Legacy of Generations! You guys are amazing!
In all seriousness, the three stores stock plenty of Abbeville titles as part of their fine selection, so that’s one major reason to visit. And even if you live far from Frisco like us, they’ve got three separate minisites/blogs, one for each store, to keep you entertained. (All three sites can be found on their mainpage here.) If you think you can handle how much they love books—if you can look them in the eye without wilting under their steely gaze—we strongly encourage you to check them out.