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analog books

a bookstore doing it a little differently
1816 Euclid Ave.
Berkeley CA 94709
(510) 843-1816
(October 2009 review)

overall feel & design
is impressive for having this many fascinating books in this little a space. It sits on theanalog inside side of a hill, half a block from the edge of the UC Berkeley campus, and is surrounded by all manner of small, brightly colored shops and restaurants. Their website states, "We're told we are the smallest bookstore with the biggest heart." And looking at some yelp comments on the store (something I promise not to include often) yielded: "... store the size of a glorified hallway but it actually is quite "cozy" ... a wonderful surprising little bookstore ...both tiny and awesome!" Don't be fearful, one of us has claustrophobic tendencies and it's not that extreme. (I remember a bookstore that resembled two phone booths lashed together in the back of a Boston alley years ago. That was small.) Its size works for the store in that you are always close to the shelves and the more intriguing titles can jump out at you. There's no detached, browsing from afar, wandering around some warehouse-sized store action here. Analog is comprised of a narrow room that goes back, takes a turn and widens out to make space for a display fixture, and is lined with shelves. At the back of the store, there was a door open into a large room that's an office/storage room that was calling out to me, "give me some shelves, take part of me public, let me show off some more good books" ... that voice could just have been my pizza hunger talking. Layout options are greatly limited with the size and shape of the store, but the sections could have been laid out so that they related to each other a little better. The section signing is big and has a spray-painted look, while the lighting is just fine. There are several places to have a seat, and browse through some interesting book. The store felt welcoming and relaxed. While checking out the stock, it became obvious that the people who ran the bookstore had some strong opinions and they wanted their bookstore to reflect them. It's great to see someone making more of a statement, while so many other stores are striving to be everything to everybody, and end up meaning nothing to anybody. This goes back to that yelp quote about heart mentioned above. Keep it going.

The staff member working Halloween gave us a friendly greeting and when we made our purchase we talked about the great lace dress she was wearing for her costume. It was a great flow mass of lace and layers  ̶ my interest in lace could be some residual effects from watching a Project Runway episode lately.

the selection
This is a mix of mostly new titles in hardcover and paperback, with some used books, some Arabic books (only section not labeled) and some course books from UC Berkeley. The graphic novels, graphic arts, and art section were very strong with unique titles that kept jumping into my hands. Political, historical and the titles on culture were very fresh and hip (a word I hesitate to use, but there it is) and along with the magazine selection, it all came together and worked. The shop featured some of the books that lead you to look at many things in life a little differently, and a little more creatively. Along the nonbook front, they offer that afore-mentioned small, but very impressive array of some unusual magazines, a few cards and some newspapers.

The front window is full to the brim with a beaconing assortment of titles. Once inside, the store's small size keeps you close to the shelves (up close and personal) and most of the sections have a lot of face outs. With very few fixtures other than the wall shelves, options for more display is limited.

store events
Analog has page for list of store events but it appears that nothing has been shaking on that front yet. 

website http://analogbookstore.com
The website for Analog is stylish, but very low-key and doesn't offer a lot of options yet. There is mention there of having a catalog listing some time and hopes of getting some events (late night shindigs) going. They are asking for suggestions for different events they might have ... if you've got a suggestion ... send it along to them.  

kudos for things that caught John's eye
    ̶   nice selection of some more radical political works that get left out of many stores nowadays
    ̶   found some nice graphics books to peruse
maybe change
This is obviously a small operation, and profits being what they aren't in bookstores, I make my     suggestions thinking there very likely isn't a lot of extra time or money available to make many changes, but I'll make them anyway. Now I think about it, I should make this disclaimer for every bookstore review.
    ̶   to make it more interesting, someone needs to find some time to add something more to the website  
    ̶   that large, messy storage room in the back might be used for some more shelves and display
  on our visit, this little shop needed a lot of cleaning, straightening and getting boxes unloaded

books are your friends

store hours (as of this October 2009 review)
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Sundays 10am-6pm

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