Cooperative Fails to Save Adobe Books, Farewell Reading Scheduled For Next Week [UPDATED]

Update Mon. 1/14 @ 8:30: A couple of commenters assert that Adobe's closure is remains uncertain, despite the scheduled farewell reading at the shop itself. We've reached out to multiple contacts at Adobe, but are yet to hear anything official back.  However, someone associated with the co-op told us that the “lovely chaos” of Adobe created the confusion and that they are still in negoiations with the landlord, as well as raising money.

Similarly, the farewell reading's Facebook event has been updated to also reflect the uncertainty surrounding the news of Adobe's closure.

Original Article: 2012 was a turbulent year for many mainstay Mission businesses, but none quite so rocky and rumored as the fate of Adobe Books.  Confronted with doubling rents, it was first made known in the early spring they were closing—only they never seemed to shut down.  Then, in October, the shop announced it was becoming the Adobe Books & Gallery Cooperative, with the hope that a new business model and strategy could save the store by the new year.  However, success with the new model seems it was never found, as the cooperative's Facebook group was shut down on Wednesday and a trio of Mission literary heavyweights announced yesterday they'll be holding a “farewell reading” for the shop Wednesday next week:

As you may know, the Adobe Bookshop on 16th Street is going out of business. Adobe has been in its present location for 23 years, and it has been an important place for writers and artists in the Mission: a venue for readings and art openings, a meeting place for readers and writers, a focal point for the life of the neighborhood — and a bookstore where you could find some great obscure surprising book at any time of day or night.

It would be wrong to let Adobe go without saying goodbye. On Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm, three great San Francisco writers will read in the bookshop, to celebrate Adobe's long existence and the generosity and kindness of its proprietor, Andrew McKinley. The readers are Stephen Elliott, Rebecca Solnit, and Michelle Tea. It should be an amazing and memorable evening. Please come.

Tragically—but perhaps fittingly—the aging Clarion Alley mural of Lone Star Swan, the homeless poet often found sleeping inside Adobe or feeding pigeons out front, was also completely destroyed this week.

Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, and the cause for optimism here is that Alleycat Books, now over a year in business on 24th, seems to be going strong and also has a fine events space in the back of the shop.  With that, the organizers of Adobe's farewell reading note, “admission is free, but space is limited, so you might want to come a few minutes early.”


Comments (11)

Stupid fucking taggers. This is why we can’t have anything nice.

Are they considering another location?

I don’t know what Alley Cat has to do with anything. Having space and cultivating a thriving literary community are not really the same thing. And in fairness, there may not be a community here since rents are too damn high anyway. It’s too bad about Adobe, but such is the way of a City, shit changes.

Yeah, they’re different, but at least we still have some bookstores (with event spaces) left + doing well?

As much as I can’t stand Swan this vandalism sucks.

Misinfomation. At this point the co-op has not failed but this article sorely hurts its chances at success. I think you should do your research before writing such things.

Really? If it’s position was so tenuous as to be threatened by a post on a random little internet blog, I think they weren’t really destined for success in the first place.

Try not posting on sites for a week. You know, for the community.


Any confusion that misiforms the public (that is who is supporting it with an upcoming campaign) is hurtful to success if it and any business. Unfortunately someone else mad a “farewell readung” based on what they read without looking at readily available sources or asking people. I’m sorry but their are plenty of “random little internet blogs” that inform huge amounts of people and influence “news” and culture.

Adobe Bookshop is not scheduled to go out of business.

Adobe owner Andrew McKinley and a working group have been working for the last few months to develop The Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative, a member supported and operated cooperative dedicated to establishing an expanded and sustainable business. The work group transition team is forming a comprehensive plan, considering a number of business models, and pursuing multiple revenue streams. In addition to the sale of used books, the transformed Adobe would include new books, original artwork (flat files), artist limited editions and publications, unique crafts, recorded media, and a variety of pop-up shops. We are intent on retaining the bookshop’s spirit of inclusiveness and generosity.

The Facebook Coop Group page was shut down only to consolidate the existing pages, to facilitate one central point for communication. We are currently recruiting transition team members who would ideally represent diverse community interests. We’ve hired a new store manager, and are about to launch a major fund-raising campaign next week, pending notification from the landlord that he agrees to consider renewing our lease.