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“Everywhere You Look Books and More Books”

City Lights Booksellers
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The Magic Bus Experience
Ranked #1 of 308 Shopping in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Famous bookstore founded and still owned by Beat Generation poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Reviewed 6 May 2014

As I was planning my trip to San Francisco, I came across the name of this bookstore and knew that I just had to make a visit. Just about any bookstore tickles my fancy. I read as many reviews as I could then put it on my to-do list. I walked the length of Chinatown and turned right and just a few feet away stood the bookstore. I went in and began my browsing around. What I found fascinating is all the OLD posters from a by-gone era on the walls. I then asked the Sales Attendant, Michael where I could find the “travel;” section and he directed me downstairs. I went and stayed for the longest time looking and reading. What is so nice about this bookstore is that you can linger and read till your heart is content. No one is looking over your shoulder, trying to get you out. I think that you could actually read a very short book by closing time.
Founded in 1953 by poets Peter Martin and Lawrence Ferlinghetti who wanted a place where booklovers could come and read and relax. It is an independent bookstore and publisher specializing in the arts and progressive politics. The bookstore is located on 3 floors and has expanded over the years. They are also a publisher.

I came back upstairs and talked briefly talked with Michael who told me that one of the owners still comes in early in the morning on some days and he is 93 years old.
A fascinating and relaxing place to relax away 3-4 hours.

Thank asolotraveler40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"book store"
in 72 reviews
"beat generation"
in 54 reviews
"book lovers"
in 41 reviews
"jack kerouac"
in 34 reviews
"love books"
in 27 reviews
"independent bookstore"
in 27 reviews
"great bookstore"
in 23 reviews
"beat poets"
in 23 reviews
"great selection of books"
in 15 reviews
"staff recommendations"
in 9 reviews
"book selection"
in 9 reviews
"non fiction"
in 8 reviews
"literary history"
in 7 reviews
in 66 reviews
in 41 reviews
in 63 reviews
in 44 reviews

605 - 609 of 808 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2014

If you're a book lover or fan of independent bookstores, this is the place for you. I personally loved all the hand painted signs found throughout the store. I left with a copy of a book by a local author, Paul Madonna.

Thank Mallory B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014 via mobile

A place were time has stiod still. No internet just books. A great selection on about every topic. If you are looking for a specialized book start here!

Thank Jlove1982
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 17 April 2014

For a poet or writer of any kind you can't miss the City LIghts Bookstore in North Beach. It's right by Kerouac Lane and beside Vesuvio Bar where the poets hung out. Well worth a visit.

Thank icklepet2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 April 2014

We spent less than 24 hours in San Francisco, but made sure to stop at City Lights. We weren't disappointed, it's a blast to browse at such a classic independent bookstore.

Thank Gomez22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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