Treat yo’ Shelf: Best bookstores of Berkeley

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Let’s face it, we’ve all become accustomed to a fast-paced culture oriented around the notion of convenience. What better theme for September and back-to-school season is there than showing our appreciation of our friendly neighborhood bookstores? Here at the Clog, we wanted to take a little bit of time to highlight the importance of local brick-and-mortar institutions around campus.

Here are some of the Clog’s favorite bookstores around Berkeley. We hope you’ll find yourself either nodding in agreement with us or making plans to visit these local gems soon!

Sleepy Cat Books

2509 Telegraph Avenue

Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., this quaint bookstore has a charming feel, yet boasts a wide selection of used books. Located on Telegraph Avenue, Sleepy Cat Books is home to two adorable cats you can play with while browsing for new reads.

Pegasus Books

2349 Shattuck Avenue

Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., this large store boasts a wide variety of new and used books. Pegasus is also celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year! There seems to be a little something for everyone here, from the quirky birthday cards to the $1 postcards/little wall art, to the expansive sale sections. If you didn’t already have enough reasons to love Pegasus, it also collects book donations and forwards them to local organizations in need!

Half Price Books

2036 Shattuck Avenue

Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Half Price Books is beloved for its expansive book collection and meticulous organization. Our favorite part about this bookstore is that it has chairs in the aisles between bookshelves, so you can plop down and get a taste of the first few pages of a fresh find. In addition to a rich and diverse selection of books, you can also purchase posters, bookmarks, records and more. What’s not to love?

Moe’s Books

2476 Telegraph Avenue

Moe’s is celebrating its 60-year anniversary! Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., this bookstore is a beloved institution in the city of Berkeley. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this article from the New York Times that was dedicated to Moe’s Books! Located right on Telegraph Avenue, Moe’s offers many interesting reads, including a whole room dedicated to rare books. If you’ve got an hour or two to lose yourself in a jungle of books, head over to Moe’s for an unforgettable experience.

Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore

2904 College Avenue

This beautiful and unique bookstore on College Avenue is usually open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but sometimes stays open a few hours later. Named after Virginia Woolf’s famous novel, this bookstore has a lot to offer. Among a host of rich literature, you can also find lots of small goods here — such as eccentric pins, birthday cards, bookmarks, stickers and more — as well as reading areas and a children’s book corner. Mrs. Dalloway’s also hosts many events, including some attended by the authors themselves! There are many plants for sale by the front window and right next to them lies a host of gardening books. Our favorite part about Mrs. Dalloway’s is the table of featured novels at the front of the store, complete with handwritten reviews by staff which are stuck in the front cover.

University Press Books

2430 Bancroft Way

Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, this bookstore is well-known for its collection of intellectually stimulating texts. University Press Books has a small but eclectic selection of books, and will often host fun events. The bookstore is also situated right next to a cafe, so you can grab a cup of coffee and browse through the latest reads.

We hope that you decide to give these bookstores a try if you haven’t already! Bookstores often have generous sales, catering to college students’ needs, and the employees always give amazing and personalized book recommendations that five-star ratings online just aren’t able to top. Next time you want to pick up a new book, resist the urge to binge order off of Amazon and support these local brick-and-mortar shops instead!

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].