Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Cody’s Telegraph Is Closing

In a year of passings, this too is incredibly sad.

Cody’s on Telegraph was one of the reasons I wanted to settle down in Berkeley after all the years of moving around. During my undergrad years it was a comfort spot. It was where I would run after classes to read Joan Morgan, Dream Hampton, and Greg Tate in the Village Voice during the 80s, not to mention hundreds of other books over the years.

When I launched CSWS I wanted to do it there. It was the only tour demand I’d made of the publisher. I did do Cody’s on an emotional night after the Quannum launch in The City. I couldn’t believe I was in the room that so many literary luminaries had spoken from.

This is so sad, I can’t really express it. Certainly the Cody’s on 4th and in SF are wonderful spaces, but they’ll never have the hum and energy and buzz and meaning of the original.

RIP Cody’s Telegraph.

posted by @ 2:49 am | 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Cody’s Telegraph Is Closing”

  1. capski says:

    this really is sad. not only for the folks that have spent time there, but for the students that wont have cody’s in the future.

    serious good times there.

    Honestly, my highlight probably is meeting you there. Leaving the CSWS signing I was more juiced on life than I had been that entire year and it really got me going. I remember calling my mom and just gushing about meeting someone from Hawaii who had this amazing book and how there was a young one there that said to me “we just came back from Kona!” and I got all homesick.

    Ok, rant. But Cody’s is also where I picked up the magazine where I had my first TINY article printed and I was so gassed that people were really confused.

    RIP Cody’s indeed.

  2. Brendan says:

    That is just awful. I met you at Cody’s Telegraph too, had my book signed in that great little space upstairs that so many amazing authors have come through.

    It’s always been obvious that 4th street gets more business, but I never knew it was this bad. If you live in the Bay, you know that the 4th street demographic is very upper class. You won’t see the same crowd that you will on Telegraph.

    That is a GIANT space too, right in front of Amoeba. I wonder what will become of it. (If it’s a Barnes and Noble, I’m organizing a sit-in. You with me Jeff?)

    RIP Cody’s Telegraph.

  3. teemoney says:

    I was lucky enough to do a panel with Adisa, EKA, T-K.A.S.H. and Joseph Miclette at Cody’s on Friday night. It was a proud lit moment for me — I took lots of pictures of the framed shots of the world famous authors and photographers they had on the wall. My dad, who used to take me there when I was a kid, came with me.

    Hearing this news only a few days later makes me so extra grateful to have had that experience.

    One thing I just don’t understand is how business could be so bad when it is sitting right on top of the campus there. Am I just really naive? I thought that at least that community would still be reading.

    Apparently not. Maybe everyone is only reading what’s required of them in class.

    – Tamara

  4. mr says:

    When I lived in the Bay, I used to go to Cody’s and Amoeba several times a week. After I moved, whenever I came back to Cali I always stopped at the store. Probably my favorite book store of all time…still can’t believe it’s closing.

    I guess the Barnes and Noble on Shattuck made a bigger impact than I imagined. Very sad.

  5. Timothy says:

    Oh NO!!!!

    Probably one of my favorite places in Berkeley during my undergrad years.

  6. greymatters says:

    This is sad. I’ve spent hours in Cody’s as an undergrad–during a quick break between classes, or late at night to buy a hard to find zine. There is no place like Cody’s Books, it will be greatly missed.

    My fondest memories include: reading Pablo Neruda during a hot summer afternoon in a secluded corner, a “missed connection” with my #1 GSI crush in the New Releases section, random and exciting Poetry Flash moments and running into an old buddy who knocked on the window of the magazine section as I was trying to make sense of foreign fashion magazines.

    Cody’s Books, and the rest of Cody’s staff–thank you for being such a large part of my life.

    RIP Cody’s.

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