Bookish Browsing

Arion Press

Demonstrations of the historic printing and bookmaking facilities of Arion Press and the historic typefoundry of M & H Type are held Thursday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. and last approximately an hour and a half. Price: $10. The gallery, featuring a rotating exhibition of Arion’s latest projects, is open free to the public Monday through Friday, from 10-5, or by special appointment.

Credit: / Marcin Wichary

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

San Francisco’s City Lights, a literary landmark located at 261 Columbus Avenue, was founded in 1953 by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin. Find a book, browse their own line of new titles—including a new collection of poems by Julio Cortázar—or try to catch a peek at Ferlinghetti himself.

Credit: / Salim Virji

Letterform Archive

Letterform Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit library and museum dedicated to inspiring and educating all who love letters. The Archive offers visitors hands-on access to its curated collection of 35,000 books, posters, journals/magazines, and ephemera related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design. During Rare Book Week West, the Archive is offering special guided tours of its collection on Monday, February 6, and Tuesday, February 7. Space is limited; please click the relevant date to reserve your spot.

Courtesy of Letterform Archive

Mechanics’ Institute Library & Chess Room

A member-supported general-interest circulating and research library in San Francisco that boasts the oldest chess club in the United States and an active program of literary and cultural events. Located at 57 Post Street.

Credit: / Brian Johnson

826 Valencia

Author and McSweeney’s magazine publisher, Dave Eggers, opened this successful non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills back in 2002. They also hold events and run a “Pirate Store” at 826 Valencia St. Back in 2010 one of our correspondents described the shop as “a smuggler’s cove, with low-slung ropes and treasure chests … There are also T-shirts, city-related replica prints and broadsides, and local literary maps available for sale.”

Credit: / Steve Rhodes