Browser Books is an independent, literary bookstore in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood since 1976. We offer a comprehensive selection of fiction, non-fiction, history, cooking, psychology, travel, poetry, and children’s books, though we are best known for our extensive collection of Jewish, Buddhist, and Christian texts. For forty years, my dad has owned Browser Books and built a community which has served as the meeting point for friends, families, and lovers alike (we’ve even witnessed a wedding!) Browser Books has endured because of the people who take care of it—people who have worked with my dad for decades and the community that has supported us. We need your support now in order for Browser Books to continue. Please help us ensure the store’s future together!
Two years ago, my dad was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease that ruptured his vision of owning Browser Books for the rest of his life. For a long time, we could not stop him from continuing to change light bulbs and move bookcases. He loves the store and has taken care of it for most of his life. Though he doesn’t come in very much anymore, whenever he does, you can still find him cracking jokes behind the counter. My dad knows that he can no longer sustain the business himself. That is why he wants to give the business to the next generation of Browsers—to myself and long-time employees and friends, Fred and Heidi.
With the proliferation of online shopping and e-books in recent years, it has sometimes been challenging for us to keep Browser Books’s doors open. After the recession hit in 2008, we almost closed. Bookstores are always debt-carrying businesses and my dad was forced to double-down in order for Browser Books to continue. Business has vastly improved since then, but the debt has accrued. My dad can no longer sustain this debt with his medical bills. He wishes to give the store to the next generation in good faith and give them a clean slate. The base minimum he needs to do this is $60,000. Any money received after the debt has been paid will go to improvements. We have a wealth of ideas for the store's future. If we cannot raise this sum, my dad will be forced to close Browser Books at the end of the year and Pacific Heights will lose an important cultural literary center.
Browser is a place for kids to explore new worlds, for people young and old to exchange ideas and bond over great literature, and to be immersed in a place that is qualitatively unique. Browser is one of the few authentic spaces left in San Francisco. Books are an essential part of what makes us human. Please let us continue this great human tradition and help inspire the next generation of readers!
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Click here to read my story about growing up in Browser Books in the New Fillmore!