There is a secret gem of a bookstore in the Tenderloin, nestled in between a coffee shop and some unassuming apartments on Post Street.

Kayo Books, a jewel hidden in plain sight on Post street.

Established 17 years ago, Kayo Books specializes in pulps, a nickname given to vintage books and magazines printed on wood pulp paper, known for their racy plots and graphically striking cover art. The shop is a favorite haunt of filmmaker, John Waters.

Buxoms babes adorn the covers of vintage mags at Kayo Books

Kayo carries a diverse assortment of authors and genres, everything from non-fiction, Alfred Hitchcock mysteries, science fiction, counter-culture exploitation novels and vintage gay paperbacks. It’s the type of place one can spend hours browsing through the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, which cover every wall in the two story space. Where else can you expect to find D.H. Lawrence inches away from Iceberg Slim on a shelf?

Stacks and stacks (and racks) of books and magazines

In addition to moderately priced books and magazines, Kayo also offers posters, prints, and everything pulp related—great gifts for the reader in your life. While the technology of today may have its benefits, there is nothing like cracking open an old, well-loved book, feeling the pages and breathing in their vanilla aroma while enjoying a good story.

Kayo Books is open Thursday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, or by appointment at 415.749.0554 or 415.269.6286.