Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cody's Bookstore, San Francisco, is, at this moment, a large, quiet gem. It has been open for much less than a year and obviously many people who bustle around choosing and buying in other bookstores have not yet got the word on what a good bookstore this is, about half a block from Fourth and Market.

It is a bookstore with lots of books, well-organized, with lots of places to sit and read. It has a vast and carefully selected group of books. Cody's is now a 3 store chain with two of the stores in Berkeley. Berkeley is a town with high average education level. Berkeley is a town where everyone thinks they are an expert because many of them are. Putting together book selections for such a town creates good habits in thouroughness, imaginativeness and off-the-beaten-track-ness. Cody's actually does what Border's would like to do but is too busy and too mass.

Right now you can look at this large, interesting, for-sale collection of books in a place and is quiet and (as far as I can tell) never crowded. Learning, breathing, restfulness are easy there now.

Now in the long run, this is not what I would wish for it is a great bookstore and I think it's current level of not-crowdedness will not sustain it over time.

But it's lovely while it lasts.

At the not far away Border's Books, there are many books, many places to sit but if you get swept away into the book you're reading, you're likely to get swept back by the many other people moving about, search reading.

Right now, Cody's SF, even at what would seem like prime shopping times, is more like a meditation hall with interesting stuff to read than a US of A commercial space.

Cody's SF is on Sutter near Market. It is right next to, going up hill, the Virgin Megastore. It is catty-corner from the Apple Store. Its hours include being open at least 9 to 9, seven days though it's open longer on weekends. It is quietly pleasant while this phase lasts. Later, if it lives, it will be pleasant but probably not this quiet.