Monday, August 3, 2015

A Great Good Place For Books - Oakland, CA

A Great Good Place For Books - Oakland, CA
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Big city, small store, nice people, AND wonderful parking!  A Great Good Place For Books (GGP) is one of those wonderful independent bookstores tucked away and hidden in a large city.  Consider it hidden no more.  When you visit the Bay Area this is one of the indies you'll need to search out and visit.

Midwesterners may have a limited or stereotypical impression of Oakland.  They might think of the Oakland Athletics, the crime, or maybe the proximity to San Francisco.  Rethink these stereotypes and now expand your knowledge by thinking of their independent bookstores, including GGP.  This is a small, one-level, full service indie located in the Montclair Village area.  The store offers new books in a well-organized and neat manner.  In the rear of the store you'll find sections for children's books and young adult lit.  They offer audio books on a rental basis which I think is a great idea.  The store is very active with author events held on-site and they also have an off-site venue for larger crowds.  Even though this is a large metropolitan area, the parking in this neighborhood is very easy to use with meters on the street.  The store offers a variety of sidelines, an important part of the business and they're all book related.

As with most of my visits though, the best part is usually the people I get to meet and it was no different at GGP.  I had a wonderful time talking to Kathleen, the owner, and Molly, one of the booksellers.  I learned a lot about the store and its history.  Kathleen told me that it hasn't always been easy but she is seeing the trend swinging back in favor of independent bookstores, something I've heard from other indie owners as well.  Kathleen is the 2nd owner and has been here almost 10 years and the bookstore has been here for 15 years overall, a great sign for continued success.  The location is conducive for good foot traffic and has a good local customer base.  All of these things point upwards for GGP.

Many of you will visit San Francisco and the many tourist attractions there.  But this is your reminder to don't forget Oakland.  Easy to get to and they have several thriving independent bookstores.  Don't miss this one.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  Bobby's Book, Emily Haas Davidson as told to her by Bob Powers.  Memoir of Bob Powers who grew up illiterate, became addicted to every drug imaginable, and ran the streets of Brooklyn committing crime, living with no direction through the 60s and 70s.  Incredible story of how he turned it around.  Highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING:  Truth Be Told, Hank Phillippi Ryan.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Every Last Word, Tamara Ireland Stone.

Great front window display.  

Find a good deal on an audio book here.  

Looking straight through the store from the front entrance.  

Nice assortment of greeting cards and book bags.  

Some of the staff picks.  

Get some hip readers to go with the book you get.  

A few of the sidelines.  

Unique socks that you can only find by visiting an indie.  

A portion of the children's section.  

The YA section is located in the rear of the store, right next to the children's section.  

You can rent book audios here.  

Find a button to go with your book!

Donate for a great cause at this indie.  

Find out what the book club is reading.  

An active event schedule.  

With Kathleen, the fine owner at GGP.  Thanks for a great visit.  


  1. The name references The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. Oldenburg advocates for stores and coffeeshops in neighborhoods that can serve as gathering places and sites for informal and spontaneous meeting.

    1. Wow! That is a great bit of info, Bruce, I had no idea. It would be wonderful if our town had even more places like this. Thanks for the comment and thanks for following!