OUT & ABOUT : City Lights Bookstore

I paid a visit to City Lights Bookstore today. My second visit so far. The first being last week, after I had watched the trailer for Howl and felt acutely embarrassed for 1) not having realized sooner that a famous bookstore is only six blocks away from my office, and thus 2) not paying my respects to the venerable establishment sooner.

But all that aside, City Lights is a really charming place. Being small, the store easily exudes the cozy, almost cramped atmosphere that I have come to love in a bookstore. Wooden bookcases jostle politely with each other over floor space. In addition, a medley of vintage posters and black & white photography line the walls. And very creaky staircase leads upstairs to a room devoted entirely to poetry. The Beat poets naturally get an entire wall to themselves.

I wish I had taken more photos, esp. of the shelves in the poetry room. But I was alone, and super nervous, and self-conscious, and overly worried about what the store owners and my fellow patrons would think of me if I played tourist in the store. I swear I’ll get over this phobia one day. Because I really can’t bear the thought of depriving myself of future prime photo-capturing opportunities. And anyway, the fear of people is a very unhealthy concept to accommodate.

Readers — Have you visited City Lights before? What was your experience like?

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