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City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, San Francisco

(700+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Gift & Specialty Shop
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, a funky bookstore founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, serves as a literary meeting place in San Francisco. Stop in and have a look around this independent bookstore/publishing house established in 1953 and famous for the obscenity trial it faced after releasing Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" in 1956. Located between North Beach and Chinatown, this bookstore became a historic landmark in 2001. You can also shop the unique book collection here, which focuses on world literature, arts, and politics. With our world travel planner, San Francisco attractions like City Lights Booksellers & Publishers can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • City Lights is one of many excellent bookstores in San Francisco. Basically this city is a heaven for book lovers! The North Beach City Lights has the connection to the Beat Movement as added draw, an...  more »
  • Lifetime ambition achieved, to be able to follow in the footsteps of so many literary giants and to be able to say I bought books at City Lights.  more »
  • San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the " Summer of Love" and City Lights Bookstore should be on your tour of important places that nurtured revolutionary thinkers and writers from th...  more »
Google
  • Amazing selection of books. I have never seen such a great selection in one place, specifically for educational books. Staff is wonderful and they do staff book picks, so you can learn a little more about the book from someone there. They do cool events and signings. It's in a cute area that is close to good food.
  • You can feel the history at this store... Good selection of fiction and non fiction... I loved the 2nd floor poetry room... Some of the employees could be a little LESS pretentious, however. I asked 2 people about a book I was considering. They answered, "the book is amazing" .. when I asked a follow up question, they admitted that neither one had read the book... This is NOT what I expect from City Lights.
  • The excellence of City Lights does not rest on its past. Certainly it has an excellent history, but that alone is not enough to make it relevant today. Showcasing independent and unusual publications today is an art, it's a calling. I appreciate that City Lights gives me a window into cultural things I might not find on my own. Finding wonderful staff that are friendly, unpretentious and enjoy helping you discover new things is a huge joy and bonus. Worthy of your dollars and support, especially right now!!
  • Come in for a stroll and get lost between the aisles. Great collection of books and cozy nooks to just sit down and read. Be mindful of the time though. Next thing you know you've spent three hours in this place just browsing.
  • Awesome Indy bookstore. Amazing selections. Don't expect Barnes and Noble. Think of Changing Hands or Powell's. Fantastic