City Lights Bookstore visit

Recently when I was reading a book about Shakespeare and company, I came across this bookstore. The author mentioned that Lawrence Ferlinghetti who stayed at Shakespeare and Co. opened this bookstore after returning to US. He said this is like a sister bookshop to Shakespeare and Co. and I was immediately interested in visiting this bookstore.

Founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin, City Lights is one of the few truly great independent bookstores in the United States, a place where booklovers from across the country and around the world come to browse, read, and just soak in the ambiance of alternative culture’s only “Literary Landmark.” The nation’s first all-paperback bookstore…

The above excerpt was taken from the bookshop website – City Lights.

So when we were in San Francisco sometime back, we dropped by the bookstore out of curiosity. I took some pictures inside to show you how beautiful the collections are inside the shop –


The bookshop is located right in the middle of city downtown with some amazing skyscrapers around it.


The bestsellers or new arrivals section that you are greeted to as soon as you enter the bookshop.


This section was the most interesting section I saw there. A whole section dedicated to zines. I had never read zines before and it was interesting to see what exactly they were all about.


Poetry section was upstairs where I picked up a poetry collection by the founder himself, even though I am not a poetry fan.


SFF and nonfiction are downstairs.


My most favorite section in any bookstore – the SFF section (Science Fiction and Fantasy). Sadly there weren’t a lot of books in this section. But rest of the sections especially the nonfiction section was amazing. They had so many books in each category. Also the literary fiction section was incredible. They also had multiple editions and some beautiful editions of books that I had never seen before.


I also found a beautiful edition of Bad Feminist under a section which only carried feminist books. I have never seen a bookshop dedicate a whole bookshelf for feminism. I was impressed with how many feminist books they had there.

I am definitely going to visit this bookstore again when I am in the city.

Address of the store: 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

PS: This was NOT a sponsored post. I am planning to do a series of posts like these since I love visiting bookstores.

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12 thoughts on “City Lights Bookstore visit

  1. Pingback: Kinokuniya Bookstore Visit | Bookish Muggle

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