San Francisco’s iconic City Lights bookstore on verge of closing

(CNN) — San Francisco’s iconic City Lights bookstore is on the brink of collapse because the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the enterprise to maintain its doorways shut.

Elaine Katzenberger, who’s the Publisher and CEO of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers — each the shop and its publishing arm — has began a GoFundMe marketing campaign to boost the $300,000 that’s wanted to maintain the enterprise afloat.

“City Lights is faced with formidable challenges at present: Our bookstore has been closed to the public since March 16, and must remain closed for an indefinite period of time,” Katzenberger wrote on April 9.

She added: “Unlike some shops, we’re unable even to process online orders, since we want our booksellers to remain safely at home. With no way to generate income, our cash reserves are quickly dwindling, with bills coming due and with a primary commitment to our staff, who we sent home with full pay and healthcare, and who we hope to keep as healthy and financially secure as possible.”

City Lights was based by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the members of the Beat motion, in 1953. The retailer within the now-fashionable North Beach neighborhood is synonymous with the Beat Generation and was the writer of Allen Ginsberg’s well-known poem “Howl.”
It nonetheless serves as a gathering place for San Francisco’s artistic group and hosts readings, e book signings and different literary occasions.

Ferlinghetti was named the first-ever poet laureate of the town of San Francisco, and his 100th birthday, March 24, 2019, was decreed Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day within the City By the Bay.

As of April 10, the “Keep City Lights Books Alive” marketing campaign had raised $106,000, greater than one-third of its objective.

The bookstore has additionally requested followers around the globe to share their recollections of City Lights on social media.

City Lights, 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

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