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The Last Bohemian Book Store: Adobe Books

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Adobe Books, a Mission tradition that has been called “the last bohemian-style bookstore,” may be closing this fall. The great two-headed best that is declining sales and rising rent is rearing its ugly head. There is talk of saving the store, so nothing is for sure at this point, but if it does close in the next few months, now is your chance to make a final visit to this Mission landmark- and get some deals on the books.

It’s an unfortunate turn, but you still have a chance to wish a fond farewell what may be the swan song of the last bohemian bookstore. And, if you buy 4 or more books, you get 50% off.

I love this place, and it will be a sad day when it closes. They have a great local art gallery in the back area, well-worn chairs where you can lounge with a book (or even take a nap), and often stay open well past dark.

The last time I was in there, I bought a photo-essay collection published in the ’80’s by Bert Katz, founder of Katz Bagels across the street. Mr. Katz had photographed about fifty local Mission personalities and written down their stories. When I took it up to the counter to pay, Andrew McKinley, owner of Adobe Books, said, “Good book. I remember Bernie. Want me to show you something?” “Sure,” I said. Andrew flipped through and found a picture of himself from almost thirty years ago. I asked him to sign it, and he graciously did.

Then, before I could leave, Andrew was already flipping through the book of music the next customer in line was buying. Andrew found his favorite song in the book and promptly burst out into song. I stood there listening to a local legend sing his heart out behind the counter of a neighborhood cornerstone.

So, go to Adobe Books. Take the time to say goodbye, and get a good deal on some books while you’re there.

Adobe Books
Mon-Sun 11 am – 12 am
3166 16th St (at Albion St)
San Francisco, CA 94103



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Scott James - Paperback Pundit

Scott James - Paperback Pundit

Author of Sidewalk Ritual, self-publishing teacher, lover of coffee and IPA.