Directions for once you’ve arrived (at San Francisco’s Green Apple Books)
“Head down the main aisle, turn right at the Staff Picks, go up the main stairs. When you get to the top, follow the red apples on the floor into the Red Delicious room. You’ll find Sports in the third alcove on the left.”
“Go up the double set of stairs and when you get to the top, follow the wall on your right into the Granny Smith room. Turn right into that room, then right again. Women’s Studies is towards the back, near Military History.”
“Go straight back, up the mezzanine stairs and you’ll find kids’ books.”
“You actually have to leave this building for fiction. It’s in our Annex, three doors down.”
“Take the seven steps up into the mezzanine, turn right, find the stairway in the corner and once you get to the top, you’ll be in Photography.”
“Excuse me! You’re taking the wrong stairs.”
“We keep travel in the Annex, three doors to the right of this building. Yes, with fiction, though we believe travel is true.”
“We send people to the Toy Boat Dessert Cafe at 5th and Clement. Tell them you came from Green Apple and you can use their restroom.”
“You must’ve gotten turned around. Poetry is all the way back, adjacent to Business.”
“Take a u-turn and you’ll see a catwalk. Just past that catwalk is an alcove on your left where you’ll find Metaphysics.”
“No, we don’t have a secret tunnel to the Annex. No, there was never a hallway connecting the stores. Let us know if you find one, though.”
“You see that giant red balloon hanging from the ceiling? It’s right under that.”
One of the things we hear a lot of, in praise and sometimes frustration, is that it’s very easy to get lost in Green Apple. While we make an honest effort to keep our customers on the right path — we’ve stenciled apples on the floor, printed maps, named different parts of the store, slapped up signs, and learn very quickly to give concise directions and interpret a quizzical gaze — it’s inevitable, given the labyrinthine nature of the store, that sooner or later, you’ll get lost. And, we hope, that you’ll want to. Because getting lost is the best way to find something unexpected.
LARB’s Naked Bookseller Series is back! This time it’s Green Apple Books in San Francisco taking over our Tumblr. Stay tuned for more posts.
Read what we believe about bookstores here.