There is a magical energy that accompanies a secondhand bookstore, what with its bounty of tales new and old, all the stories waiting to be discovered and, of course, that wonderful old book smell. Much like its name suggests, book lovers will feel right at home at Bibliohead bookstore. The literary haven located in Hayes Valley has something for every eager reader that steps inside.
Here, you’ll find everything from fiction, poetry, foreign literature, nonfiction, mysteries, anthologies, biographies and anything in between. There’s a bountiful children’s section in the back, too. Well-lit and carefully organized, it becomes all too tempting to sit on the stools and start reading! Bibliohead’s small size is irrelevant to the number of treasures it houses – in fact, you might not even know where to start browsing due to the sheer number of titles they carry. You can leaf though both bestsellers and rare finds, from this week’s new murder mystery to tales of the past. I remember seeing a copy of Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book from 1870!
Bibliohead is staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people – if you need assistance in identifying or locating a certain book, or if you’re interested in recommendations, they are always willing to help you. Back on an earlier visit, an employee cheerfully located a copy of French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan, a play I’ve been endlessly scavenging other bookstores for. More often than not, I’ve been able to find the rarer stories I seek in Bibliohead.
To those of you who have some extra books lying around, or if you’ve already read that book everyone’s talking about, Bibliohead buys books, too. Even in secondhand bookstores I need to be wary of how much I spend – leave me in a bookstore unattended, and there’s no knowing how many books I’ll leave with – but in Bibliohead, bargains are never short in supply. (I scored a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast for only a dollar!) Don’t forget to comb through the sale racks outside before making your purchase and, if you have some extra change jingling in your pocket, there’s a little machine by the register where you can buy poems for fifty cents each.
Being inside Bibliohead and seeing its wealth of books sent a sad reminder that I’ll never be able to read them all in one lifetime – but there’s no harm in trying, right? Reading books give you the opportunity to participate in multiple lives, after all, and Bibliohead is a great place to start your next journey.
334 Gough St (between Linden St & Fell St)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Monday-Tuesday, Sunday: 12 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.