City Lights Bookstore

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261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA - (415) 362-8193

City Lights Bookstore San Francisco Reviews

timhardin timhardin
5 reviews
Fantastic book store! May 24, 2010
Well worth a visit even if you're not big on reading books. It's got atmosphere and history. Heaps of interesting books and editions. Go there after visiting the Beat Museum.
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Eric Eric
408 reviews
Mar 18, 2006
The City Lights Bookstore is an interesting, independent bookstore that recalls the narrow, cluttered passageways of Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. While the selection is not as large as some of the larger, commercial chains, the books they choose to carry are actually interesting. The inside of the store is decorated with interesting signs and paraphernalia, including a San Francisco original that said "The red light district will be closed on friday night so that the girls can attend the police ball."The bookstore has an interesting history too. It was the first bookstore in the world to exclusively sell paperback books and was a major spot for the beat generation. Famous writers like Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg frequented this place and then had drinks next door at the gaudily decorated Vesuvio Cafe.
Outside of the bookstore.
cynthia says:
you know wahts the smell of history...its strange...and you open a book and see the history come alive...down to the dust that may still be on some of them...
Posted on: Mar 19, 2006
Eric says:
Yea, you really get the sense of discovery when exploring the shop. There are books in every niche, and even piled up in corners along the stairway.
Posted on: Mar 19, 2006
cynthia says:
you never know what treasure you'll find around every corner...
Posted on: Mar 19, 2006

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