Travel Publisher, Lonely Planet, has just issued its list of the world’s best bookstores. The only American store on the list is City Lights of San Francisco, which also happens to be number 1 on the list. City Lights was started in 1953 and was touted as the world’s first paperback bookstore.It was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In 1955 the store started a publishing company that still exists. It is most famous for its publication of the beat poets. Allen Ginsberg’s, Howl, is considered one of the great poetic works of the western literary canon. It the 1950’s City lights was the intellectual center of the Beat Poets and the whole beat culture in San Francisco.
A little shameless self-promotion here. My last visit to City Lights was to attend a publication party for my client, Paul Krassner, whose book, Who’s To Say What’s Obscene, was published by City Lights. (It was my first book that I represented as an agent.)
Congratulations, Lawrence and City Lights. What an honor! You deserved it.
Tags: allen ginsberg, andy ross, andy ross agency, ask the agent, book publishing, books, bookshop, bookstore, CITY LIGHTS, howl, lawrence ferlinghetti, literary agent, lonely planet, PAUL KRASSNER, ten best bookstores, writing