Russian Hill Bookstore Needs Your Help

Since San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order went into effect on March 17 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to temporarily shut our doors to the public.

We have tried to hold out as long as we could in asking for donations from our community, knowing that this is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone. But as rent, bills, invoices and insurance costs pile up, our resources are becoming slim. We will continue to come in every day to take your orders for shipment and free hand-delivery -- for which we are incredibly grateful. But at this time, Russian Hill Bookstore needs your help.

The shop owners, Ben and Jess, are still coming in every day to fulfill orders and ship books. When the restrictions on the shelter-in-place order were expanded to ban curbside pickup at non-essential businesses, we began offering free delivery and have been walking gift packages to our neighbors around San Francisco. We have applied for emergency small business loans, as well as Federal and private grants, but so far we have yet to hear back from any of them.

All funds raised through this GoFundMe campaign will be solely utilized toward maintaining the wages of our incredible staff, and helping with our basic operating expenses of monthly rent and utilities. Any surplus funds raised above our goal will be placed in a general fund to help other independent bookstores in San Francisco most in need of financial support.


Russian Hill Bookstore began in 1974 as a small used bookstore on 9th and Irving in San Francisco’s Sunset district. The shop moved to Russian Hill in 1993, taking root along a Polk St corridor that was once brimming over with 12 bookstores servicing the Tenderloin, Nob Hill, and Russian Hill neighborhoods. In 2017, Russian Hill Bookstore was granted status as a Legacy Business of San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, the shop’s founder retired, and two long-time employees, Ben and Jess, purchased the bookstore.

When a planned seismic retrofit displaced the shop, a herculean effort from our neighbors relocated the entire bookstore one block south in less than seven days, to its current home, at 2162 Polk. Russian Hill Bookstore is now the last bookstore remaining along the Polk St corridor.

We would not be here without the support we have received over the years from our community. We are asking for your support once more.

Please donate what you are able to afford. If you are unable to donate, please share our campaign with your friends and neighbors.

Stay home, stay safe and healthy. We look forward to opening our doors to you again, and we hope to see you soon ….

For more info about our shop please see the links below:

Our Website 





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Benjamin Bellouin 
San Francisco, CA
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