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.

Events

Calendar of Events

Diane di Prima Memorial Tribute

Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 6:00 pm PDT

Diane di Prima Memorial Tribute

A tribute to Diane di Prima, marking one year since her passing in October 2020, with Hanif Abdurraqib, Garrett Caples, Jeanne di Prima, Shepard Powell, Cedar Sigo, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Wendy Trevino, and Jenny Jo Wennlund.

Virtual
Event
Daniel de Visé in conversation with Harry Duncan

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 6:00 pm PDT

Daniel de Visé in conversation with Harry Duncan

The first full and authoritative biography of the musical and cultural legend BB King.

Virtual
Event
Spring and Autumn Annals Release Party

Saturday, October 30, 2021, 1:00 pm PDT

Spring and Autumn Annals Release Party

A panel discussion celebrating the City Lights publication of Spring and Autumn Annals by Diane di Prima with Ammiel Alcalay, Amber Tamblyn, and Ana Božičević. Moderated by Sara Larsen.

Virtual
Event
Paul Auster on the Life and Work of Stephen Crane

Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 6:00 pm PDT

Paul Auster on the Life and Work of Stephen Crane

New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster is joined in conversation with Todd Gitlin to discuss the life and work of Stephen Crane.

Virtual
Event
Auntie Sewing Squad visits City Lights!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 6:00 pm PDT

Auntie Sewing Squad visits City Lights!

City Lights celebrates rise of the Auntie Sewing Squad, a massive mutual-aid network of volunteers who provide free masks in the wake of US government failures during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, and Preeti Sharma. Moderated by Rebecca Solnit

Virtual
Event
Uwem Akpan in conversation with Helon Habila

Thursday, November 4, 2021, 6:00 pm PDT

Uwem Akpan in conversation with Helon Habila

Exuberant storytelling full of wry comedy, dark history, and devastating satire—by the celebrated and original author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Say You're One of Them.

Virtual
Event
Elif Shafak in conversation with Ipek S. Burnett

Saturday, November 6, 2021, 11:00 am PDT

Elif Shafak in conversation with Ipek S. Burnett

A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.

Virtual
Event
Kyle T. Mays in conversation with Paul Ortiz

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Kyle T. Mays in conversation with Paul Ortiz

The first intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country that also reframes our understanding of who was Indigenous in early America.

Virtual
Event
Stan Cox in conversation with Sonali Kolhatkar

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Stan Cox in conversation with Sonali Kolhatkar

The Path to a Livable Future is an urgent call for the political transformation needed to address the common causes of climate change, COVID-19, and racism.

Virtual
Event
Steven Reigns in conversation with Jonny McGovern

Thursday, November 11, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Steven Reigns in conversation with Jonny McGovern

Steven Reigns discusses his new book A Quilt For David, the hidden history of a vulnerable gay man whose life and death were turned into tabloid fodder.

Virtual
Event
Lucy Corin in conversation with Susan Steinberg and Deb Olin Unferth

Monday, November 15, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Lucy Corin in conversation with Susan Steinberg and Deb Olin Unferth

Lucy Corin celebrates her new novel THE SWANK HOTEL published by Graywolf Press

Virtual
Event
Amitav Ghosh with Raj Patel (RESCHEDULED to 12/14/21)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 5:00 pm PST

Amitav Ghosh with Raj Patel (RESCHEDULED to 12/14/21)

In his ambitious successor to The Great Derangement, acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism's violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment.

Virtual
Event
Charlie Jane Anders in conversation with Kelly Link

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Charlie Jane Anders in conversation with Kelly Link

Charlie Jane Anders celebrates her new book NEVER SAY YOU CAN'T SURVIVE: How To Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories published by TORDOTCOM

Virtual
Event
Kalani Pickhart in conversation with Maria Kuznetsova

Monday, November 22, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Kalani Pickhart in conversation with Maria Kuznetsova

Celebrating the debut novel by Kalani Pickhart I Will Die in a Foreign Land that follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests.

Virtual
Event
Victoria Nelson in conversation with Rob Wilson

Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Victoria Nelson in conversation with Rob Wilson

The author of The Secret Life of Puppets and Gothicka celebrates her debut novel, a supernatural thriller set in the 1970s in a certain West Marin coastal town crawling with poets.

Virtual
Event
Truong Tran - Book Launch for BOOK OF THE OTHER: Small In Comparison

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Truong Tran - Book Launch for BOOK OF THE OTHER: Small In Comparison

City Lights and Kaya Press celebrate the release of Truong Tran's new book BOOK OF THE OTHER: SMALL IN COMPARISON

Virtual
Event
Seagull Books at 40

Saturday, December 4, 2021, 11:00 am PST

Seagull Books at 40

City Lights celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Seagull Books with special guests Naveen Kishore joined by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Alain Mabanckou, and Khal Torabully.   Hosted by Peter Maravelis and Paul Yamazaki of City Lights

 

Virtual
Event
Poor Books/ Prensa POBRE Celebration

Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Poor Books/ Prensa POBRE Celebration

POOR BOOKS celebrates their 2021 fall releases with Audrey CandyCorn, Ingrid DeLeon, Lisa Ganser, Angel Heart, Muteado Silencio. and Val Vera. Hosted by Lisa Gray Gracia and Tongo Eisen Martin

 

Virtual
Event
Nancy Perloff in conversation with Antonio Sergio Bessa

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Nancy Perloff in conversation with Antonio Sergio Bessa

A significant new collection of concrete poetry that redefines what this unique literary movement means today.

Virtual
Event
Christopher W Shaw discussing FIRST CLASS: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Christopher W Shaw discussing FIRST CLASS: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat

Investigating the essential role that the postal system plays in American democracy and how the corporate sector has attempted to destroy it.

Virtual
Event
Eduardo Berti with Daniel Levin Becker

Monday, December 13, 2021, 2:00 pm PST

Eduardo Berti with Daniel Levin Becker

City Lights in conjunction with Fern Books present Eduardo Berti reading from his new novel An Ideal Presence

Virtual
Event
Amitav Ghosh in conversation with Raj Patel

Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Amitav Ghosh in conversation with Raj Patel

In his ambitious successor to The Great Derangement, acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism's violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment.

Virtual
Event
Gloria Gervitz with Mark Shafer

Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Gloria Gervitz with Mark Shafer

City Lights in conjunction with New York Review Books celebrate Gloria Gervitz's new collection of poetry MIGRATIONS

Virtual
Event
Freeman's Love & Change Solstice Party!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 6:00 pm PST

Freeman's Love & Change Solstice Party!

Join John Freeman in a solstice celebration with Lina Meruane and Sayaka Murata reading from the LOVE & CHANGE issues of Freeman's

 

Virtual
Event

Staff Picks

Browse Our Shelves

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

Merchandise & Gifts

Skip to content