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Best Books, Music & Movies in San Francisco

, 9 Options Found

New and used books at low prices are the specialty of this popular Richmond District bookstore. Two dusty floors and an annex two doors down hold hundreds of rare and out-of-print titles, bargain bins, CDs, DVDs, employee reviews and a relaxed atmosphere. You can also trade in your old books for store credit, one more way this store saves you money. The staff here is known throughout the Bay Area for being well-versed in all things books.

This large Japanese bookstore, appropriately, is placed in the heart of Japantown in the Kinokuniya Building. It features hundreds of titles written in Japanese, and a smaller percentage of books in English, Korean and Tagalog. You'll find newspapers, magazines, comics, hardcover and paperback fiction, nonfiction, business, philosophy, religious-related topics and more. Kinokuniya Bookstore also sells Japanese videos and music CDs, stationary and small gifts like nice pens and journals. Extremely popular, it is patronized by both tourists and regular customers.

Visit this Haight-Ashbury bookstore and patronize one of the city's largest independent treasures. The Booksmith functions both as a source for hard-to-find books as well as a home to all the latest popular titles in fiction and non-fiction. It regularly schedules author readings/signings and gives away free author trading cards for the scribes who appear at these in-store events. Join a reader's club and save 10 percent every time you buy whether you're browsing the aisles or shopping online via their website.

Whether you are a comic book collector, or a casual comic book reader, you will find a visit to Isotope worth your while. Anyone living in Hayes Valley who likes comics and graphic fiction, knows this place, and that is not just for its impressive collection of books, though it is very commendable. This lounge-cum-comic-book-store brings the best of both together to create a unique gallery-cum-reading-room kind of place, where customers can lounge around on the leather sofas while reading a book or two, or attend a live event featuring known names in the comic books business. What's more, you can tag along your furry four-legged friend to partake in this experience, since Isotope welcomes dogs.

This independent downtown store is composed of three floors filled with books of from all genres of literature, from the classics and new-releases to educational textbooks and self-help titles. Explore Alexander Book Co's collections of fiction, mystery, fashion and beauty, childcare, poetry, philosophy, religion, sports, travel, psychology, and women's studies. The staff is helpful in recommending authors and a customer review board where you can read reviews from other patrons.

This independent North Beach icon, founded by Beat writer-mentor Lawrence Ferlinghetti, goes beyond your average bookstore by shelving beat literature, anthologies, and fiction from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and much more. Experience San Francisco through the words written by some of the area's most famous, and sometimes hard-to-find, writers. The store has its own publishing house, City Lights, which has enriched the San Francisco community since 1953 by promoting emerging writers with an edge.

Dog Eared Books and its two sister-shops, Phoenix and Red Hill Books, offer an eclectic selection of new and lightly used books to browse through for hours or days, with the added bonus of an extremely knowledgeable staff to help find specifics. A vast array of books organized in categories from cooking to "aaarg, pirate", zines, CDs, and audio books for rent are all available. Literary events such as readings and open mics often include free wine and snacks, as if patrons needed another reason to dive in to Dog Eared.

No music lover's trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to this warehouse-sized music store. The Upper Haight store bustles with hundreds of shoppers flipping through vast selections of CDs, records, tapes, videos and posters. The deals on used and yellow tag (cosmetically damaged, functionally guaranteed) items are the best in the city, as is the selection of obscure and independent-label titles.

Books Inc. offers guest speakers, book selections and sale books in a small and intimate atmosphere. The book selection ranges from travel to children's storybooks. Guest speakers have included noted gay and lesbian authors and feminist activists. There is a large selection of sale books sold at one half the market price.

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