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Best Specialty Bookstores On The Peninsula

Bookstores on the Peninsula offer a welcoming and personal connection readers just cannot get on a computer or smartphone. Enjoy the camaraderie and creativity of being among friends with cozy encounters that nourish the soul. These independent bookstores reflect not just the owners' personalities but your own. Join kindred spirits for readings and book signings as well as knitting circles, health forums, story time for children, local poetry and much more.
florey's books

Florey's Book Co
2120 Palmetto Ave.
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 355-8811

Florey's Book Co. in Pacifica opened 35 years ago. Owner Aaron Schlieve has been running the folksy place on his own since his grandmother started it, providing a personal connection book lovers cannot get on a computer. Schlieve hosts gatherings many times a week and for all ages including Fiber Fridays, Saturday Storytime, Pacifica Poetry Forum and Natural Wellness talks. See the website for more information about these particular events.

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B Street Books

B Street Books
301 South B St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 343-2800

B Street Books' Lew Cohen opened his used bookstore in San Mateo five years ago after working 30 years as a private investigator. If you like sleuthing through sci-fi and mystery books, check out B Street Books. Cohen always maintained an interest in books and says Mark Twain is his favorite author while George Stewart's "Earth Abides" remains his favorite book. Cohen has amassed a huge inventory and sells mostly current fiction, non-fiction, classics and a huge selection of children's books. Prices average $4.95. He also buys collectibles, rare and vintage books from estate sales and private collections.

Ink Spell Books

Ink Spell Books

500 Purissima St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-6571

Inks Spell Books' Cindi Whittemore runs a quirky and fun bookstore and sells new and used books along with toys and games. If you have a gently used book, trade it in for one of 70,000 other titles or ask Whittemore to track down a rare item for you. Patrons may browse and relax while reading in one of many chairs in the living room of the art section or on the fainting couch under the stairs. She specializes in children's and teens' books. Children play in the toy section equipped with a doll house, train table and toy kitchen while parents browse.

Coastside Books

Coastside Books
432 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-5889

Coastside Books sells vintage collectibles but at the same time offers eBook downloads. It's a husband-and-wife business of Luciano and Nancy Arruda and they publish children's books themselves under Coastside also offers cards by independent artists and companies. Coastside resides in an historic section of town and sells books on history, nature and science. Children will find their own literature and adults will find contemporary fiction as well as spiritual books. Find a bargain in the cart out front and stroll Main Street's other stores and cafes.

Harbor Books & Gallery

Harbor Bay Books & Gallery

270 Capistrano Road, Suite 24
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-4241

Harbor Bay Books & Gallery features local writers and artists and local history. The store also caters to Brits and Anglophiles as it sells newspapers and magazines published in the UK including Hello! and The Daily Telegraph. Visitors find beautiful postcards and may attend readings and book signings. The shop entertains youngsters with a children's section and is in a lovely location near a wine bar and cafe for adults' enjoyment. Creations for sale include wearable art, handmade jewelry and aromatic and soothing lavender oils and lotions.

Related: Best Art Galleries On The Peninsula

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on

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