Like me, you may be powerless to pass a bookstore without taking at least a cursory tour inside. Just to see what you see. There’s that wonderful smell of paper and ink, and don’t even get me started on how comforting it is to be in a place where there’s not much more to hear than QUIET…

Bookstores never fail to make me to want to hurry home, chain myself to a table and write. (Click here to visit the website for my favorite SF new and used bookstore, Green Apple.)

But – wait a minute! – libraries are even more captivating and aromatic and QUIET.

I bet some of you haven’t entered a library in years. If so, I highly recommend taking time this week to stop at any local library (in place of a visit to a café or a bookstore).

It’s not that you shouldn’t support independent bookstores and cafes, it’s that The Library is one of the last great public treasures that hasn’t been wiped off the map (yet) in the name of budget cutbacks or privatization of education and arts.

Or as Frank Chimero writes, “I once heard that a library is one of the few remaining places that cares more about you than your wallet. It means that a person can be a person there: not a customer, not a user, not an economic agent, not a pair of eyes to monetize, but a citizen and community-member, a reader and a thinker, a mind and—God, I am going to say it—a soul.”

Amen, brother. (For more from Chimero about libraries and a whole bunch of other really cool stuff, click here.)

Really. Stop by your local library. If you’re in San Francisco, you might start with these branches (although the Main Library is ALWAYS a great place to visit):
Richmond – private study rooms, comfy periodicals chairs, kids’ playground, separate children’s floor and materials written in Mandarin & Cantonese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese
Merced – fireside reading chairs, easy parking
Glen Park – conveniently near BART and Canyon Market, super sunny and peaceful

Happy soulful reading (and writing)!

Photo Credit: Kyle Glenn

I lead writing and mindfulness workshops throughout the Bay Area. My approach is adaptable in many settings — from helping groups honor an important life event to assisting a business team in articulating a shared vision. Contact me to learn more. For information on my San Francisco real estate practice, visit or