Category Archives: Berkeley

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Berkeley

Photo by Peg Skorpinski for UC Berkeley.  (Not mine!)


Another Berkeley Bookstore Bites the Dust

Barnes & Noble on Shattuck has closed.

Berkeley which used to be a town full of bookstores, with Cody’s as the flagship, has fewer and fewer.

I keep expecting  to see Black Oaks to close — when I’m there it’s always mostly empty, very different from just a few years ago.  This is a tragedy — buying books online is OK, but it’s very different from being able to look at and handle books, and find ones I wouldn’t have known to order online.  And the fewer books I can find locally, the more I order online: with Cody’s Telegraph closed, there’s no place around, including Cody’s 4th Street, with that selection.  And with Cody’s gone B&N was more important, as a large bookstore with a variety of books.

Another Berkeley Indepedent Bookstore in Trouble

Black Oak Books is for sale– from SF Chronicle:

But with profit margins down, a five-year lease coming due and a partner who wants to retire, Pretari, 49, may have to seek a vocation less perfectly suited to a Berkeley-educated polymath.

Last week, he sent up a trial balloon, inviting someone, anyone, to buy one or both Black Oaks stores — the Berkeley location on Shattuck Avenue or the San Francisco store on Irving Street. (A short-lived third store in North Beach closed last year.)

“We’d like Black Oak to keep going,” he says, adjusting his round glasses and settling into a chair in the back office, a warren of books. “We’re exploring every possibility, even if that means someone else has to come in and own it.”