While I don't buy much here since my interest is non-fiction this is a must-see for those in the Berkeley/East Bay area. Its truly an experience, 16 foot ceiling with bookcases to match, movable track mounted shelving like in libraries, and a maze of alleys & turns that can baffle one especially if someone moves the track shelving after you pass. Walk carefully, open space on the floor is minimal. Parking reminds me of Lombard street. Go quickly as the fate of the store depends on the precarious health of the eccentric and interesting owner. A great place for fiction and a mecca for serious literature.
This is on my second tier of bookstores to visit in Berkeley (so maybe 4 stars). But, I go there when I get parking (about a third of the time). Its rare I don't get something. Its a mix of new & used, not as scholarly as university, more literature. Not cheap, its Berkeley.Feed the meter folks or it will be more pricey in a heartbeat. Big plus is that it has other branches including one in a very genteel area of Berkeley so ask..
I love Mrs. Dalloway's!! It's like entering my school librarian's private collections - the selection is sensational and I always find something of interest. For the moments when you want to commune sensorially with a book and the Kindle just doesn't do that for me.....I head for Mrs. Dalloway's. After your purchase, head next door to The Elmwood Cafe for a mouth-watering pastry and a nice cup of joe.