City Lights is a landmark general bookstore, internationally known for our expert selection of titles and our commitment to free intellectual inquiry.

Founded in 1953 as the nation’s first all-paperback bookstore, we now offer both hardcovers and paperbacks from all of the major publishing houses, along with an impressive range of titles from smaller, specialty publishers. Our shop features an extensive selection of poetry, fiction, translations, politics, history, philosophy, music, spirituality, and more, with a staff whose special interests in many fields contribute to the hand-picked quality of what you see on the shelves.


Thursday, March 23, 2023, 6:00 pm PST

Charif Shanahan in conversation with A. Van Jordan

Charif Shanahan celebrates the publication of Trace Evidence: poems published by Tin House Books

This event is both live in-store and virtual. It is free to the public. To watch online you will need to register. While attending in-store, seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Masks are optional, but highly recommended.


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All of the sections you’ll find in our bookstore are available here for browsing!

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