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Berkeley’s independent bookstores survive, thrive

Photo: Nacio Jan Brown
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2016 BABF logoThis article is brought to you by the Bay Area Book Festival.

Fill in the blank: B–k. Maybe you read “Book.” Or possibly your mind extrapolated a bit and thought “Berkeley.”

Berkeley means books. There have been terrible losses: Cody’s (can it actually be eight years?), Shakespeare & Company (only last year), Black Oak Books on San Pablo (last month), and, back in 2011, the rambling Serendipity Books on University Avenue, of which the New York Times wrote: “The lack of direction was on purpose and in earnest. [Owner] Mr. Howard wanted people to search for books and find not just what they were looking for but the book next to it, which they might want more if they only realized it existed.”

But Berkeley still has one of the most thriving book scenes in the country. Founded in 1959, Moe’s Books lives on, all five stories of it, now led by Moe Moskowitz’s daughter Doris.  … Continue reading »

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