You want to get textbooks for your teen as she starts high school? Fine. Go to Amazon. But if you want to aimlessly wander through aisles of compelling pages only to add more to your must-read list then The Bookshop West Portal is the place to be.
The thing is you’ve got to be prepared to buy several times more than you came in for. I mean, who can walk by a book titled How Not to be Wrong and turn away without sneaking a peek? Sure, you can resist those recommended reading lists that pop up when you purchase online. But between the front facing book displays, the hand written recommendations, personalized staff picks and that subtly intellectual atmosphere, you kinda feel downright lazy if you don’t walk out with an armload. (Yes, they may stack up on your nightstand for a while, but dammit, they’re yours!)
And if you weren’t already completely motivated to tackle some of the seasons best reads, just stop by for one of their many author meet and greets. Not exactly once a week, but close enough, you’re likely to find a lively discussion lead by local and world class writers. For the 6th year in a row, children’s author Annie Barrows of Ivy and Bean fame (which means EVERYTHING if you’ve had an 8 year old girl in the past decade) will be stopping by at 11am on October 18th. She happens to be fabulous even if you’re not still in single digits.
Looking to get a little crafty? This bookstore has a bi-weekly knitting and crocheting group for everyone. Beginners pay a small fee for some instruction (but hey, when your first stitch slips you tell me it’s not worth it!), and for everyone else it’s free.
While its name would have you believing that this is simply a bookshop, clearly The Bookshop West Portal is all that and trip to Disneyland. Want games and puzzles? Check out the back section. Of course, don’t forget to take a spin through the front where you’ll find a serious selection of artistic and hilarious greeting cards. Bags, reading lights, hats? Yup. All there. You can spend hours browsing after a good movie or tasty meal across the street, and that’s exactly what everyone who lives in West Portal seems to do. A wonderland for word lovers, step inside and you really can’t go wrong.
The Bookshop West Portal 80 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127