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City Lights Booksellers

1,008 Reviews

City Lights Booksellers

1,008 Reviews
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261 Columbus Ave North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133-4586
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J David H wrote a review Apr 2020
Virginia Beach, Virginia1,619 contributions547 helpful votes
There are so many attractions when visiting the city by the bay that some lesser knowns can be overlooked. As the husband of a librarian City Lights was not one I would dare miss. It is both an attraction and an operational bookstore. City Lights Bookstore was made famous by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It's location is in the North Beach area of San Francisco. My visit was highlighted by the Poetry room with its nostalgic chair by the window.. The store is most recognizable for its Beat movement of the 50's-60's. City lights was the very first paperback bookstore in the country which gives it notoriety. With hundreds of reviews already on Yelp there is no reason to write a book on City Lights. Just understand if your the nerdy book type that loves the the 50-60's era you must visit. Of course they have current books and periodicals too! Find other cool stores to check out in North Beach as well.
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Date of experience: August 2019
5 Helpful votes
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hlazer wrote a review Mar 2020
Tuscaloosa, Alabama51 contributions47 helpful votes
An historic must for any bibliophile, especially lovers of poetry. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights is wonderful.
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Date of experience: March 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Paula-Jo H wrote a review Feb 2020
San Francisco, California19 contributions36 helpful votes
City lights has an endlessly rich history and presence. From the moment you step in, soak up the vibe of the Beat Generation’s nights of poetry readings; and maybe one during your visit now. You’ll get lost in the rows and rows of social justice, global activism, print poetry slams, best-sellers and classic-to-contemporary bios and auto-bios. You’ll have a chance to share passions with other visitors. Plus, the staff really loves to help. The building is a historical beauty. Be sure to step into Vesuvios for a light nosh ‘n sip. The lane outside is a masterpiece tribute, which you’ll love stepping through. I’ll let It‘s “story” be a surprise for your visit. If you have the time, take in the SFCityguides North Beach walking tour for eye opening, fascinating history of the neighborhood. Then heAd here; making your entry all the richer!
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Date of experience: February 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Rick G wrote a review Feb 2020
San Francisco, California27 contributions49 helpful votes
Fascinating and historic bookstore, if the walls could talk. Best bookstore in the City!! 3 stories of all the books you would want to read. Located in a great part of town. A short walk to North Beach, Chinatown and the Financial District.
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Date of experience: January 2020
2 Helpful votes
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kayakatnip wrote a review Jan 2020
Bridgend, United Kingdom28 contributions42 helpful votes
Having watched ‘You’ on Netflix I didn’t think book shops like that really existed. Only corporate ones and online booksellers. I was pleasantly surprised to find City Lights had all the charm of the shop in You. The staff really know their art and quickly knew the author of what I thought was an obscure book that I was looking for. They didn’t have it and they didn’t have another I asked for but it’s a small shop so you can’t expect everything! They appear to shy away from mass fiction authors too. Still I enjoyed the experience of the quaint surroundings and purchased a random book!
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Date of experience: January 2020
2 Helpful votes
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