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 decided to close 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.”
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!