The Sacramento Bee recommends touring ‘the colorful Mission District’

Our pal C’mon Pony spotted this Sacramento Bee feature in a news rack over the weekend, so we decided to look it up online. It’s a pleasant read, and, surprisingly I guess, hipped me to something I had no idea existed:

Another unexpected pleasure (at least for the customers, if not the proprietors) is finding four specialty bookstores housed above a discount paint store on Mission Street. To enter, you must find a call-buzzer intercom, state your intentions (“Uh, to, like, browse for books”) and wait to get buzzed in. Then you climb two flights of stairs and get to Vahalla Books (first-edition fiction), then climb one more flight to the troika of Bolerium Books (radical politics), Meyer Boswell Books (collectible law tomes) and Libros Latinos (scholarly Latin American and Caribbean books).

Upon entering Bolerium (motto: “Fighting Commodity Fetishism With Commodity Fetishism Since 1981″), co-owner John Durham looks at you with a mock stink-eye.

“Oh, you found us,” he said, crestfallen. “We don’t get many walk-ins.”

Who knew? Read on.

[Photo by C'mon Pony]

7 Responses to “The Sacramento Bee recommends touring ‘the colorful Mission District’”

  1. VASH says:

    Oh my god! I first heard about this place several years ago from a guy who owned a bookstore in New Orleans that I visited! I came back home and tried to find it, but the guy hadn’t been able to remember the location, and I never did… I assumed it had closed down and I had missed the fun!

    It’s like lost treasure! Follow the Nazca Lines!

  2. moderniste says:

    Hey, that’s Sact0 for ya. The Home of Hip.

  3. Lyle Lanley says:

    I’ve had the good fortune to browse both Bolerium and Valhalla. Bolerium has some weird old San Francisciana, among other things, all carefully archived. I was looking around the country for an old SF art book and was amazed to find it there, only blocks from home. Valhalla’s run by a book collector turned seller (like so many sellers-of-things) who is happy to talk to you about books and the book biz. There’s life above street-level!

  4. Love the commodity fetishism slogan. “der Warenfetisch!”

  5. Bolerium is the leading dealer in the U.S. for antiquarian materials on progressive social movements, including an amazing stock of rare LGBT materials:

    And by the way, for those in the know, no need to buzz in: Simply sashay through the used paint store straight to the back, where you’ll find an open door into the lobby of the building, with stairs and a freight elevator to the right that will take you up to the bookshops.

  6. Dr. Rump Ripper says:

    Touring my colorful ding-a-ling