Friday, November 13, 2009

Flutter by Butterflies

Well, I guess that I'll come right out and admit it - I've got a serious case of nerves going this weekend. It's the good kind of jitters, the excited kind, but still I feel like I may be getting in a bit over my head. Why? Because this coming Monday evening I've been invited to speak on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on 'The Future of Books." And yes, tickets are still available...

It's not that I'm without opinions on this subject. And certainly, I've got a crystal ball and I know how to use it. It's just that not only will I be the lone soul at the table representing the glories of the organic tome, I'm also the only one there without my own wikipedia page. O.K. maybe it's not quite that bad, but we're still talking about heavy hitters like Jared Friedman, co-founder of Scribd and Brewster Kahle, co-founder of Actually, two great sites that I frequent regularly.

This is certain to be a great experience for me - I just hope that the listeners on over 350 radio stations across the nation will feel the same way. So, I'm hoping that some of you might throw some ideas, facts or figures my way so that we can work together and insure that the future is bright enough for us to read by. How can books (or bookstores) compete in a future that seems doomed to rely on extention cords? Why should books survive?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sign Language

There's a lot going on inside of Green Apple and many ways to become disoriented or lost. Asking for help is always an option, as we've got some pretty special people to answer any questions, but there are also plenty of signs throughout the store hanging around hoping to help ya out...

Open everyday (minus, Christmas and Thanksgiving)

Maps (coming soon!) for navigation around the store:

It would be so kind, if you could:

We tell you where things are:

We tell you what to do:

And what not to do:

We help you save money:

We help you stay warm:

Sometimes we make mistakes:

And sometimes we have friends help make signs:

We can read forwards AND backwards:

Important people:

Hey! It's us! (2nd from the top):

See you next time:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why I Read by Daniel Handler

Here's the sixth installment of our "Why I Read" series; today's essay comes from Daniel Handler, an early contributor when we started asking this question of authors a few years ago.

We'll get right to it, but I have to say how much we at Green Apple feel privileged to publish original work by these esteemed authors in our email newsletter (sign up here) and on our blog. I mean, Daniel Handler has sold tens of millions of copies of his many and varied books, he's a dad, he plays the accordion, and he has time to act (see below) and write original essays for Green Apple? Too cool.

Here's Daniel Handler's (2006) "Why I Read:"

When I was five it was Bartholomew and the Oobleck. When I was six it was Witches Witches Witches. When I was seven it was Ramona The Brave. When I was eight it was The Bears’ Famous Invasion Of Sicily. When I was nine it was The Headless Cupid. When I was ten it was The Last Battle. When I was eleven it was The Blue Aspic. When I was twelve it was Fish Preferred. When I was thirteen it was And Then There Were None. When I was fourteen it was Clock Without Hands. When I was fifteen it was Geography III. When I was sixteen it was the Alexandria Quartet. When I was seventeen it was Mrs. Caliban. When I was eighteen it was The Flounder. When I was nineteen it was City Of Glass. When I was twenty it was Anagrams. When I was twenty-one it was Lolita. When I was twenty-two it was Lolita again. When I was twenty-three it was Beloved. When I was twenty-four it was The Folded Leaf. When I was twenty-five it was the 27th City. When I was twenty-six it was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. When I was twenty-seven it was Blindness. When I was twenty-eight it was The Black Brook. When I was twenty-nine it was 30. When I was thirty it was The Annunciation. When I was thirty-one it was The Faithful Narrative Of A Pastor’s Disappearance. When I was thirty-two it was The Long Goodbye. When I was thirty-three it was Why Did I Ever. When I was thirty-four it was Jackstraws. When I was thirty-five it was Seek. When I was thirty-six, so far, it’s The Unsettling.
Want more? Previous participants also include Beth Lisick, Susan Choi, Peter Rock, T.C. Boyle, and Dave Eggers. Why do you read?

Oh, and we can't resist showing this again:

Monday, November 9, 2009


I ride my bike to work every day. I have no excuse not to. The weather too temperate in San Francisco, the scenery too attractive to squint at out of a filthy MUNI line window. Despite maniac motorists, streets in disrepair, ridiculous bike plan injunctions (thank you Rob Anderson), and that one time my landlord ran a stop sign and almost accidentally ran me over in his jeep (seriously), I ride my bike to work every day and I love it. I'm not the only one either. Green Apple boasts a staff with a sizable number of bicycle enthusiasts, not to mention a large selection of books on cycling, from repair to racing to world travel.

Above are just a few of our highly recommended selections, books we have here on display, books that we've read, loved, and been inspired to hop on our bikes and ride around by. I personally cannot push Major enough (Major Taylor also pictured up top), in which Todd Balf paints a grim picture of the cycling world long before the remote semblance of equality that exists today. David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries and Dervla Murphy's Full Tilt are enough to make a person want to abandon the rhetoric of modern society, take back their dignity and lean in to a pair of drop bars. Lastly Eve Titus' Anatole isn't specifically about bikes, though a bicycle is the titular character's prime form of transit. I mostly included it 'cause, gosh, how cute is that illustration? Keep chargin' Anatole, ya' little champ you!

Alfred Jarry, inventor of pseudoscience pataphysics and dada author of the Pere Ubu plays would famously ride nude though Paris with his face painted green in celebration of his birthdays.
Einstein enjoying what looks like a pretty playful ride to me... you'd think a genius level intellect would ride a bike that's a little closer to his size, but hey, he probably knows something I don't!

Henry Miller loved his bike so much he wrote a book about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Magic, 1400s–1950s...

Illusion, Enchantment and Wonder

The world’s greatest magicians from the Middle Ages through the 1950s

Magic has enchanted humankind for millennia, evoking terror, laughter, shock, and amazement. Once persecuted as heretics and sorcerers, magicians have always been conduits to a parallel universe of limitless possibility—whether invoking spirits, reading minds, or inverting the laws of nature by sleight of hand. Long before science fiction, virtual realities, video games and the internet, the craft of magic was the most powerful fantasy world man had ever known. As the pioneers of special effects throughout history, magicians have never ceased to mystify us by making the impossible possible.

Magic, 1400s-1950s celebrates more than 500 years of the dazzling visual culture of the world's greatest magicians. Featuring more than 1,000 rarely seen vintage posters, photographs, handbills, and engravings as well as paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Caravaggio among others, this 650-page volume traces the history of magic as a performing art from the 1400s to the 1950s. Combining sensational images with incisive text, Magic explores the evolution of the magician’s craft, from medieval street performers to the brilliant stage magicians who gave rise to cinematic special effects; from the 19th century's Golden Age of Magic to groundbreaking daredevils like Houdini and the early 20th century's vaudevillians.

This image reminded me how much I love Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold. One of my favorite San Francisco novels & definitely my favorite novel that deals with Magic. (To be fair it's th only one).

Magic, 1400s-1950s is also the perfect companion to last year's The Circus: 1870-1950, also edited by Noel Daniel.