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Store Philosophy

East Bay Booksellers was created to provide a place for creating and maintaining community in an atmosphere that promotes the free, mutually-supportive exchange of ideas and experiences. 

As a workplace, our purpose is to develop (and be an advocate for) the means to promote the financial security, professional competence, mutual respect, and health and well-being of everyone who works here. We consider this our bottom line. Beyond these goals, we look to foster and celebrate the curiosity, creativity, compassion, community involvement, expertise, and intelligent critical thought of both our present community and the community for which we strive.

As a bookstore, our purpose is to be a cultural center for the community of which we are a part -- namely, Oakland and the greater East Bay. We try to provide a wide range of titles, events, ideas, and experiences in the kindest, most professional, efficient and pleasant manner. We aim to be swift and responsive in our service, and to convey our neighborliness, philosophy, and commitments through our displays, events, charitable activity, and overall public behavior. A sense of welcome and ongoing conversation is the key to all that we do. 

As a cultural center within the larger society, we are trying to support an increasingly fragile ecology of creative, mutually supportive/compassionate thought -- with an eye particularly at the frayed edges, the marginalized, the silenced, the targets of myriad violence. This is a commitment not simply to an abstract ideal, but also to the kind of actual society in which we want to live. This requires not only our active support and the tacit support of our customers, but also that we enlist the support of other booksellers, authors, publishers, the media, and (ultimately) the culture at large. Our relations with these groups is always qualified by these abiding concerns.

Within the book industry, it is our job to provide, within our means, the best writing available to readers for their own individual assessment and purchase. We are an independent, locally-owned bookstore that believes the large corporate control of speech, taste, and interests is an immediate, stifling threat to the quality, variety, and dissemination of ideas, experiences, and expression. We believe this to be detrimental not only to cultural production, but also to the societal linkages and differences that allow our sense of community to remain open and evolving. In the event there is no stopping the socio-cultural and economic creep, we believe there is a value in the struggle.