The Expanded States of Reading

Even more bookstores to love.

more alta journal 2022 favorite bookstores
Alta Journal

When we at Alta Journal released a list of our 2022 Favorite Bookstores in California and the West, we knew it would be incomplete. How could our contributors and staff manage to find every single great bookstore in such a vast stretch of the country? Even if we found them all, how could we manage to capture all the reasons a bookstore fills us with joy, anchors a community of readers, and inspires us to return time and again?

So, yeah, our list was incomplete.

Thankfully, our readers noticed, too, and were quick to tell us. We received emails from all over with subjects like “Great missing bookshop,” “One you missed in your article,” and “Missing bookstores.” The form we created for feedback filled up with adamant suggestions. Readers pointed out that we’d skipped whole areas (hello, Santa Cruz!) or hadn’t included their favorite stores. Looking at these notes and suggestions, we realized yet again that book lovers are a passionate, devoted lot: Bookstores are lucky to have such loyal, vocal customers. And Alta’s lucky to have such engaged readers.

This week, we’ve updated our list with 12 amazing bookstores, as we continue to expand our list. Among them are Santa Monica’s Diesel, A Bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Bandung Books in Oakland, Morti’s Used Book Nook and Cat Adoption Lounge in Petaluma, and LibroMobile in Santa Ana.

We’re also excited about Christopher’s Books and Forest Books, both in San Francisco, Harmony Books in Nevada City, Washington’s Tacoma Book Center, Yesterday’s Books in Modesto, Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, and Treehorn Books in Santa Rosa.

You can read our write-ups and add these excellent shops to your to-visit list.

So, did we miss any? Of course we did.

We invite you to share more suggestions through this form or via email at Our list will continue to grow throughout the year, so share and check back often.

As summer winds down, you may find yourself on one last road trip and in need of something to read. Check out our handy bookstore map, the only guide you’ll need. Copies of our magazine—along with our back issues—are still available from the Alta Store, so get reading!•

Matt Haber has previously worked as an editor at The Village Voice, The New York Observer, and The Atlantic.
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