Best Weird Books

Bibliomania

With more than 90,000 books and 100,000 pamphlets, Bibliomania in downtown Oakland is like stepping into a portal of cool, weird artifacts. Founded in San Francisco’s North Beach in 1974 and later moved to Berkeley before settling to its current spot, the store has all the while specialized in social movements, modern lit, children’s books, and military history. Owners Daryl and Jean Van Fleet man the stacks daily with a priceless eye for rarities and oddities that just shames the modern big-box bookseller experience. From Weather Underground ‘zines to out-of-print Nietzsche in German, the bookstore also carries crazy stuff on Africa, anarchism, Charles Bukowski, Jack London, Mormonism, mountaineering, Trotskyism, UFOs/flying saucers, and much more. Expect scarce and rare titles, often protected in plastic, alongside $5 anthologies on Greek stoicism. The Van Fleets say the logo for Bibliomania depicts a man with a mad passion for books, a graphic originally appearing in the 1494 edition of The Ship of Fools and reproduced on the title page of the 1809 first edition of Bibliomania by Thomas Frognall Dibdin. Browse heavily.

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