Walk through the doors, the owners say and you will have a “glimpse of the lurid past of dime store novels, sleazy 1960s exploitation and 1970s pop culture.” It’s true. This small store in downtown San Francisco specializes in vintage mysteries, science fiction, westerns and erotica.
Not inappropriately, the KAYO Bookstore is located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin — an area often thought of as sleazy — drugs, prostitutes, massage parlors and strip joints. All of that is in the midst of transformation. The store is located at the base of Nob Hill. The streets here are gaining a new, more trendy status with real estate agents suggesting a new name, The Tendernob.
New name or not, KAYO visitors are not far from emerging galleries and only a few blocks from downtown shopping or from the Civic Center. There are an increasing number of interesting restaurants and bars populating the area. While the down and out character is disappearing, there is enough grittiness left to complement the great pulp novels, posters and vintage magazines in the store — a kind of pulp museum.
814 Post Street, (415) 749-0554, www.kayobooks.com
Incidentally, for those interested in great pulp covers — covers for the kind of books found at KAYO, check out Killer Covers.