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Thidwick Books closing its doors after 25 years; 40% off sales through the end of year

Thidwick Books at 1136 Clement near Funston

Thidwick Books owner Lea Dimond knows her way around Clement Street, and the challenges of running a small business in San Francisco. Her store has been located in two different places on the street. After opening and running the original Thidwick in San Diego, her first shop was located at 11 Clement Street In 1999. In 2010, she was closed after she and the landlord were sued for American Disability Act (ADA) violations.

About 14 months later in 2012, Dimond opened Thidwick Books anew at 1136 Clement near Funston, giving the space bright paint, uncovering forgotten skylights, and adding in her signature stock of great books for adults and kids, cards, puzzles, and San Francisco-themed merchandise.

Despite the painful closing of her last shop, Dimond was upbeat and optimistic about her re-opening, remarking that the whole thing may have been a blessing in disguise.

“I got a year off and was able to find this great new space. Maybe I should thank that man!” she said back in 2012, referring to the man who filed the ADA lawsuit against the 11 Clement Street location.

There’s never been an exterior sign on the second shop and its facade is obscured by bushy ficus trees. But word quickly spread and Thidwick customers found the shop and welcomed it back to the neighborhood.

Dimond has always been more than just a bookseller in the neighborhood, and her store is a hub in the community. Thidwick’s large community bulletin board near the front of the store is always covered with announcements, deep thoughts, and cartoons. And every month, Dimond holds a fundraising drive for various San Francisco charities. Customers know her penchant for a good pastry, and dog owners know she is always stocked with biscuits for four-footed visitors.

Last year, it was Dimond who told us about the passing of Thomas Myron Hooker, a resident homeless man who was known for his gentle spirit that made camp on the corner near Thidwick Books. Thomas’ passing touched the neighborhood, and Dimond posted her remembrance to him on her shop door: “Thomas – who flew to and from the ocean every day, and spoke with birds, and he once woke to a cloud of butterflies kissing him – may he rest in peace.”

Thidwick Books owner Lea Dimond

After 25 years in business and nearly 6 years at her current location, Dimond says she feels it is finally time for her to close the chapter on Thidwick Books. She’ll stay open until the end of the year, and will be offering 40% off sales on different book genres every week leading up to the closure.

Each 40% off sale will run Thursday through Monday, with the first one starting today on children and young adult books. The full sale schedule is as follows:

40% OFF SALE SCHEDULE (THURS-MON EACH WEEK)
November 2: Children & young adult
November 9: Fiction
November 16: Mysteries
November 23: History and autobiographies
November 30: Interior design, gardening, and cooking
December 7: Travel, poetry, reference

The store will be open through the holidays with continuing discounts. In her characteristically generous spirit, Dimond says everything she doesn’t sell will be donated to San Francisco organizations, like leftover mystery books going to the Veterans Administration Hospital in the outer Richmond and local senior homes.

We’re going to miss having Thidwick Books in the neighborhood. Be sure to stop in and wish Lea well, and take advantage of her 40% off sales. Thank you, Lea for everything you’ve done for the neighborhood!

Sarah B.

7 Comments

  1. She and her store will be sorely missed in the neighborhood. It was always the perfect spot to get a book, card or gift!

  2. Lea and her store have been a valuable part of our community, such a wonderful store. Thidwicks will be dearly missed. So sorry it’s closing.

  3. such a loss to our neighborhood– sadly, some things are too good for our city anymore

  4. I’ve aways walked on the other side of Clement toward Arguello so never knew it was there even. I’m glad Ms. Dimond seems to be retiring rather than being forced out of business. I’ll have to stop in now.

  5. Sadly, book shops are becoming endangered species in San Francisco.

  6. Just so you know, the owner wanted me to let you all know that this was the her decision, and she’s very happy with the wonderful 25 years she’s had with Thidwick Books. She’s also very happy she’s going to be off the clock for a spell. Thank you all for your kind words about Thidwick Books, and we wish you all the best!

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