Clio's Bookshop Coming to Oakland, Calif.

Clio's Bookshop, a new and used bookstore with a bar and cafe, is in the works in Oakland, Calif., Oaklandside reported.

Owner Timothy Don, who helped found the Oakland Book Festival and is also the art editor of the journal Lapham's Quarterly, hopes to have the bookstore open by September or October. He envisions the store as a "cabinet of curiosities," with the inventory arranged by time period, starting with prehistory and going toward the present. It will function as a "timeline of culture," with everything from philosophy and science to fiction and design represented.

Don hopes to carry about 10,000 books eventually, and he told Oaklandside that the only genres not represented will be cookbooks and self-help. He's building the inventory with the help of a team that includes journalists, writers, artists, philosophers, historians, and scientists, and he wants it all to be "rigorous, but not elitist."

The bookshop will reside in a 1,900-square-foot space on the basement level of a building at the corner of Perkins and Grand Avenue in Oakland's Adams Point neighborhood. The store will be ADA accessible and feature a bar, booths and high-top tables for eating and drinking. There will be cocktails named after writers, small plates for customers to share, and coffee available in the mornings.

Clio's will have a dedicated events space, where Don hopes to host authors, philosophers, and poets. The building has a sidewalk space across from Lakeside Park, and he'd like to use that for outdoor tables and games.

Getting the space ready to open, Don explained, has been a challenge. Last year a fire engine crashed into the building and ruptured a water main, causing the basement level to flood. "It was a real setback, both temporally and spiritually. Thank God we weren't open."

Despite the struggles, the work continues, and Don expects the renovations to be finished by August in advance of a fall opening. Though the space does not yet have food or beverage options, Clio's has hosted three author talks already--the word-of-mouth events were "well attended" and the "crowds were enthusiastic."

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