1644 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Chances are, if you’re a tourist in San Francisco, at some point you’re going to visit Haight-Ashbury. When you do, you’ll see The Booksmith standing proudly on Haight. It’s a store that opened in 1976. A mid-sized general trade store really worth visiting.
It’s under new management. Two succesful business consultants, Praveen and Christin, looking for a more “noble” calling, bought this bookstore from its previous owner in 2007. Since then the married couple have applied their business savvy to “growing a bookstore for the twenty-first century.”
It’s an interesting idea and the first time I’ve heard it put in these terms. At number 48, I have had the fortune of visiting a handful of stores like The Booksmith: innovative, action-oriented, think tanks that focus on local communities.
Praveen calls it “revitalizing the community connection,” and at The Booksmith they do this in a number of ways. They host offsite events, online video events, and even coordinate events in Berkeley. Retail remains the core, but today The Booksmith is selling via these events, as well as through their website and direct mail.
And as if their day jobs weren’t enough, this couple has also invented their own community website, Litminds.org. It’s a place for readers, booksellers, and authors to communicate.
Just another example of a book store revitalizing their community connection.