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City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
Located in the heart of North Beach, City Lights is one of the oldest, and most widely loved bookstores in San Francisco. It's been serving its loyal customers since as early as 1963 and has carved a name for itself in the city. It began as a store housing only paperbacks but has since started stocking both major publishers and independent authors and printing presses.
City Lights has also emerged as a leading contender in the publication, marketing, and distribution of its own brand of books, publishing several genres like alternative politics, world literature, and art books. It frequently hosts author signing events where you can get a chance to catch up with your favorite authors. The customers love the free postcards and other book-related merchandise handed out at such events.
Green Apple Books
Started in 1967 as a small bookstore selling only used books, Green Apple Books has since emerged as one of the most loved bookstores in the area. It now has both new and used books, spanning several genres like contemporary fiction, art, poetry, children's books, cookbooks, and new releases in non-fiction as well as fiction.
They also have a book club, quirkily titled The Apple-A-Month-Club which sends out a personalized and unique selection of new releases to its members. These can be fiction paperbacks sent to locals, but the service extends to book lovers all over the United States.
Alley Cat Books
This is an art-themed boo store under the franchise of Dog-Eared Books, which is one of the oldest and most passionately loved bookstores in the area. This place is famous for its aesthetic interiors, with beautiful posters and artworks lining the walls, and books from floor to ceiling adorning the space, making for a true-blue book lover's paradise.
The best part about the store is that it supports local writers, by organizing periodic writing workshops and chat sessions with established writers. It boasts of a thriving community of book lovers rarely found elsewhere.