Best Bookstore: A bountiful literary haven
In 1956, after borrowing $5,000, a pair of thirtysomethings opened a little slip of a bookshop on Berkeley's Euclid Avenue, just north of Cal's North Gate. Four years later, Pat and Fred Cody moved their shop to Telegraph Avenue. Four years after that, they uprooted again and moved half a block away to the corner of Channing Way, where Cody's Books has been one of Berkeley's main tourist attractions -- a bi-i-i-g bookstore in a big-bookstore town -- ever since. The original owners sold the store in 1977 -- Fred Cody died in 1983, and an annual Bay Area book award now bears his name. Cody's is now a chain of three: two stores in Berkeley and another that opened in September on San Francisco's Stockton Street and spans 22,000 square feet. All of the stores host readings by world-renowned authors, from Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton to Al Franken and Isabel Allende to Neil Gaiman and, um, James Frey.