While books as a medium for content are allegedly becoming obsolete, they offer an experience that cannot be matched online. You might be able to find silly and unique content on social media, but exploring a bookstore can be a more tactile and immersive experience. San Luis Obispo’s bookstores, including Pheonix Book and A Satellite of Love, offer a variety of niche and entertaining books.
The American Gas Station: History and Folklore of the Gas Station in American Car Culture by Michael Karl Witzel
This book examines the history of the gas station and its impact on American society. Full of images featuring recognizable gas station branding, like Texaco and Mobil, the book details the shift from gas stations with attendants to modern self-service ones.
Pigs on Parade by the Pike Place Market Foundation
Amidst books featuring renowned artists like Rembrandt, Picasso and Warhol, Pigs on Parade is a collection of pig sculpture photographs. In 2001, over 160 pig sculptures were created by a collective of sponsors and artists for a Pike Place Market Foundation benefit in Seattle. Within the pages lie several abstract creations, like a pig sculpture decorated with thousands of faces titled “Pig of Soul.”
Hamsters…Getting Started by Greg Ovechka
The title’s perfectly placed ellipsis is the first thing to draw readers in. It implies that the reader should make a dramatic pause when reading it out loud — but what could be so dramatic about taking care of a hamster? Well, deciding to adopt a living animal should not be taken lightly, so Ovechka provides practical information on how to take care of a hamster in this manual.
Coneheads: The Life and Times of Beldar Conehead by Tom Davis and Dan Aykroyd
For anyone who remembers the movie “Coneheads” as a vague childhood fever dream, this book cleared up a few points about the plot. Presenting a complete history of the character Beldar Conehead, the book is also equipped with a glossary of Conehead phrases, like “Sorb chunks” and “Mebs,” and the rituals of the Conehead species.
A Ghost Watcher’s Guide to Ireland by John Dunne
A bookstore exploration would not be complete without visiting the occult section, like the one at Phoenix Books. In this book, the extensive history of Ireland, from medieval times to the present, is punctuated by Irish folklore. Accompanied by photos of the region, Dunne relays famous Irish legends, like the banshee and the headless horseman.