2476 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley CA 94704
Open 10 to 10 daily
Phone: (510) 849-2087
Art and Antiquarian Shop
Open 12 noon to 6 daily
Phone: (510) 849-2133
Since its inception back in the heyday of the Beatnik era, Moe's Books has managed to become more than just a great bookstore--it has achieved the rarified status of a beloved landmark institution as well. Situated just four blocks from the University of California campus, Moe's has managed to mirror the often turbulent and triumphant times that have come to epitomize all that is exciting and unique about Berkeley.
Founded in 1959 by Moe Moskowitz and his wife, Barbara, the original site of the store was a small shop on Shattuck just north of University Avenue. He moved the store up to Telegraph Avenue in the 1960s, right in the middle of the Free Speech Movement and the famous anti-war demonstrations that put Berkeley on the political map.
Moe Moskowitz began a revolution of his own, one that altered the landscape of the used book business. He set policies assuring our customers of the highest prices paid for used books, and the staff was trained to keep the stock fresh, interesting, and of the highest quality possible. Moe's was also one of the earliest online bookstores, establishing a prominent presence on the Internet back in the early '90s.
And Moe's is not just about selling books. We have a very active reading series with very interesting people constantly dropping by. Recent readings have been held for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, Jonathan Lethem, Dave Eggers, Barry Gifford, Bill Berkson, and dozens of others--and you are just as likely to find well-known authors in the audience as at the podium! Some of our best speakers are also our regular customers.
We have other events as well. While most stores had midnight release parties for the Harry Potter books, how many do you know also had a midnight release party for the new Thomas Pynchon book, complete with Pynchon-inspired music and refreshments? Our readings are archived on the site, through audio and video feeds, but wouldn't it be better to check out our events page and come to one of the readings in person?
In an environment where the only the chainstores seem to survive, Moe's continues to grow and flourish, with new generations of customers discovering the joy of almost unlimited access to the greatest of the written word, in a store that thrives on its independence.
Hundreds of used and out-of-print books are added to our inventory through daily purchases. If you have a library you wish to sell please call one of our buyers at (510) 849-2087 or e-mail us at email@example.com
|2002: Bookseller's Legacy lives on at Moe's|
|2004: Carrying on a Telegraph Avenue Tradition|
|2009: Cometbus #51|
|Reviews of the Store|
|A quick review from the New York Times|
|A review from Bray & Lawless's favorite bookstores (1977)|
|From Via, the AAA magazine|
|Reader comments from Yelp!|
|Telegraph over the decades|
|1977: Vandals slow work on the big store|
|1981: Telegraph swims against the conservative tide|
|Telegraph Ave. is consumed by our high-tech disposable society|
|1985: Browsing in used bookstores: a few of the best|
|1984: In search of the perfect bookstore|
|1986: Big chains replace Telegraph shops|
|1995: Independent bookstores break the chains|
|1998: Independent bookstores for the purist|
|2008: Ken Bulluck reviews Aaron Cometbus's informal history of Moe's and Telegraph Avenue|
|2011: Book Prize winner John Banville writes about his trip to California in 1968 and mentions Moe's books.|
|2012: Ploughshares article on literary Berkeley|
|Other Moe's Notables|