SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, June 16, City Lights Booksellers & Publishers officially reopened their doors to welcome customers back. The business made the announcement via Twitter. The bookstore is now open daily, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
City Lights is an independent bookstore and publisher, located on Columbus Avenue at Broadway, in San Francisco. There are total of three floors in the bookstore with hardcovers and paperbacks from all the major presses and small unique publishers. Books available include poetry, fiction, history, politics and translations, etc.
City Lights bookstore was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin in 1953. The purpose was to create a “literary meeting place” for readers and writers in the community. It is the first all-paperback bookstore in America.
In 1955, Ferlinghetti established the City Lights Publishers with the Pocket Poet series. According to a statement on the businesses website, the press has already printed more than two hundred titles so far. Each year, there is a dozen of new titles being published by them.
In mid-March, the bookstore closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Amid the shelter-in-place orders, City Lights organized virtual activities with the readers and writers.
In April, City Lights faced financial problems, including cash reserves quickly dwindling. The CEO of City Lights, Elaine Katzenberger, created a donation campaign on GoFundMe, called “Keep City Lights Books Alive.” According to the statistics, the business has already gained $493,785 by 10.3K donors.
The announcement of reopening notes, they require all the customers to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth. They also set a new entrance way in the bookstore and will provide hand sanitizer for use to customers.
For more details on the reopening of the bookstore, visit the City Lights website.