A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, Inc.

This morning, Publishers Weekly reported that Books, Inc. would be taking over the space now being abandoned by A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books. This is a great move on several levels: For one thing, the space remains devoted to the taste and sensibilities of an independent bookstore. Second, with eleven stores in its chain, Books, Inc. will have fallback stores to draw from should their operations at the Van Ness Avenue location flounder. As owner Michael Tucker puts it in the PW article, “Ten years ago I found myself facing the exact same dilemma and we had to close ten of 12 stores. Now we’re back up to 11.” (Thanks to Dan Wickett for the tip!)


  1. the former ACWLP owners have already opened the new bookstore in west portal (in the former hausenhome location) across from the movie theater (strategically near a Peet’s). It’s a much smaller space, but looks like a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Everytime I go in, there are a number of other people browsing

  2. Yes, I understand the value of independent booksellers. I’m from Australia and one of the big U.S. chains recently started to move in. Borders has four branches in Sydney alone now. Actually, Borders isn’t so bad. I spoke with a colleague a couple of years ago. She’s an American and she sort of scoffed when I said that I’d been at Borders in Hornsby at the weekend.

    But the independents really do provide superior service (although I must admit that Borders does carry a broad selection of stock). I recently pre-ordered Murakami’s just-published collection of short stories from Gleebooks here in Sydney, because they tend to get the books in a bit faster than the chains.

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