The Bay Area’s Cutest Bookstore: City Lights

City Lights in San Francisco never disappoints.

Last week I stressed the importance of having a really good book in your carry-on bag for when you’re flying. So, where do I find these hidden wonders you ask? Airport book stands somehow don’t cut it. Every few months or so I pop in to my fave book store and see what’s cooking!

Venture of the Infinite Man

A true piece of artwork by world-acclaimed poet Pablo Neruda, although it’s not a novel, a good collection of poems always hits the spot. This version of Neruda’s work was translated to English for the first time, and the original (in Spanish) was published in 1926. City lights is featuring this beauty, snatch it up before it’s gone!

Speaking of Neruda, this is one of my all-time favorite poems:

I do not love you except because I love you; 
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it’s you the one I love; 
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood. 

Events: Marx Matters

City Lights hosts a bunch of authors- almost weekly if I’m correct – discussing their pieces. The one that I really wanted to attend but unfortunately was out of town for (ugh) was Marx Matters: Karl Marx at 200. In this talk, on his would-be 200th birthday, various authors discussed Marx’s criticisms of capitalism and the relevance of his ideologies today.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Between the multiple floors of books, super cute nooks and wooden tables for reading books, and the flat-iron shaped building where the store is housed, going in to City Lights is always a good time. The super cute signs that dot the store which remind you of important things in life like staying in the present, this is definitely the best place to genuinely get yourself lost in a book.

According to a shabbily painted sign located a room away from fiction from Latin America, The Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East, City Lights has been giving readers joy since 1953. Whether you decide to nestle in the poet’s chair or buy a book and go to a nearby park, this is a must-stop if it isn’t on your list already.


Where to go:

261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco – 10 am to midnight

How to contact ‘em:

(415) 362-8193

Their website is SO 2000’s!


Fun Fact:

City Lights was designated as a world heritage site in 2001!

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