Perhaps this is silly. Perhaps this is like writing a yelp review of the golden gate bridge. This is the Alcatraz of SF bookstores. Iconic because of its history of the iconoclast. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve been here. And likely, the first time you came here, it was less of a weekend stroll and more of a pilgrimage.
Best known for its patronage of the beat poets (Allen Ginsberg, for example), City Lights continues to flourish as an independent publisher, consistently churning out a large number and variety of quality works. Walking through this bookstore, surrounded by the gritty and touristy, yet somehow still charming North Beach, I get the same feeling I do when I walk through a cathedral in Europe. A certain curiosity takes over as one can almost smell the history. You know you’re somewhere special.
They have a great selection of new and old titles. This was, in fact, the place I picked up my first book authored by Jose Saramago many moons ago.
You can get there on the 8x, the 41 Union, 30 Stockton or 45 Union/Stockton. Caffe Trieste is also just up the street.