Dear Babe,
Now that Stacy’s Books is gone, where do I look for interesting art books?

Stung without Stacy’s

Dear Stung,
I could cry everyday for losing Stacy’s Books. What is this city coming to? Anywho, these are the places I go to find interesting art books.

Given at 575 Castro St
They have a GREAT selection of books for adults and kids. I just got an amazing book of photographs by Erwin Olaf. I can hardly take my hands off that book I love it so much.

Swallow Tail at 2217 Polk St
The selection of books here is almost ethereal, so much beauty and so much strangeness.

Barney’s New York at 77 O’Farrell St
Here you’ll find a good selection of fashion and design books. Sometimes they even go on sale! Hooray for sales.

Jonathan Adler at 2133 Fillmore St
Once in a while you can find a great book here. I also like to look here because they are not afraid to carry raunchy books. Everyone needs raunch now and then, especially with a generous sprinkle of humor.

and OF COURSE the SFMOMA store at 151 Third Street.
Get ye there pronto!

I’m sure some of the readers have suggestions too, maybe they’ll kick down with their knowledge in the comments.


Nagging questions holding you back? Babe Scanlon’s got your answer. A SF native, she’s been figuring this place out far longer than she cares to admit, and now she’s ready to share. Email her at and let the veil of confusion lift. Please do keep in mind: Babe Scanlon is not presenting herself as an expert in anything that means you can sue her or the Appeal if you take her advice and your life tanks. Her recommendations are just that: recommendations.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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  • smi23le

    Don’t forget the best Bay Area independent bookseller.. Book Passage both in Corte Madera and in the Ferry Building in S.F.

    Book Passage Rules!

  • Sarah Hromack

    Missing a few:

    + For monographs and other pretty, pretty, coffee table-worthy stuff, head to the SFMOMA gift shop. It’s not an amazing selection, but it’s serviceable.

    + For theory, University Press Books in Berkeley. Moe’s works, too. R.I.P. Cody’s.

    + Scouting the Mission shops is also worthwhile, I think — depending on what you’re looking for (monographs, criticism, general theory) Modern Times, Dog Eared Books, and Adobe can be helpful. There, it’s more about time/patience/luck. Have a burrito. Live a little.

    + William Stout Architectural Books on Montgomery; John Wilde Antiquarian Books in 49 Geary (for the high rollers); and of course Argonaut Bookstore on Sutter — you know, the one from “Vertigo!”

    + Finally, check design shops and galleries as many sell books, too

  • Babe Scanlon

    Thanks you so much for your help!

  • Richmondsfblog

    A couple more options in the Richmond District:

    Green Apple Books (new and used, amazing selection)
    506 Clement Street at 6th Avenue

    Park Life (bookstore and gallery; lots of great art books here)
    220 Clement near 3rd Avenue

  • Larry-bob Roberts

    Booksmith on Haight has a good selection of art books.

    For photography books and books about comics, check out Foto-Grafix Books inside the Cartoon Art Museum at 655 Mission Street. Their website doesn’t seem to be coming up at the moment but it’s at