If we’ve met in real life, you probably know that I grew up just outside San Francisco in a suburb that was great to grow up but one I was stoked to get out of once I turned 18. I’m sure anyone who grew up in the suburbs can relate. One of my favourite places to go exploring in that still feels like home and nostalgia is Rockridge. It’s this great neighbourhood nestled in between Oakland and Berkeley that feels just edgy enough that you feel comfortable with gentrification.
Anyway, you probably have guessed by now that I’m borderline obsessed with bookstores — independent and Barnes & Nobles a like. But the first independent bookstore that I can remember actively falling in love with is Pegasus Books. Originally, they just had the location in Rockridge but now there’s a second one in Berkeley and I’m just as in love.
The one in Rockridge is across the street from a great crepe place and in between a slew of shops that you could definitely get lost in. It’s really fun to see how certain neighbourhoods change over the years but it’s also great to see how such established neighbourhoods like Rockridge still hold a lot of their charm and actively give back to the community.
Pegasus Books is full of a variety of books expanding a ton of topics that I’m not sure could be found outside the bubble of the Bay Area. It’s cute, quaint, and the people who work there are fantastic. When I was in the bay last week visiting family, it was basically a requirement that my mom & I go there while getting tacos and exploring the local shops nearby.
I’m not sure if I love Pegasus for the nostalgia, the atmosphere, or some other factors. But what I do know is that stores like Pegasus are crucial. Shopping local and supporting small businesses is so important today. I could probs go on a long, long tangent but I like to think we all would like to support independent bookstores while we can. At least, that’s the world I like to pretend we live in.
Mostly because independent bookstores growing up are the places where I learned that there are worlds outside my doorstep that I haven’t explored yet. That there are people and places and things I have yet to experience with their own worldviews backed by experiences and facts they see as acceptable. And that our world is so much smaller yet far more vast than we can really even fathom.
Can you tell how much I love learning and getting lost in words? If you can’t, get me started on the importance of reading and traveling & I doubt you’ll be able to get me to be quiet.
So if you’re in the Bay Area, specifically in the East Bay, check out Pegasus Books. You may not find anything you’re looking for, but I can promise you’ll find what you need somewhere amongst the shelves. That I know for a fact.