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

April 9, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

People are reflected in the window of the City Lights Bookstore in North Beach as they walk along Columbus Avenue, Friday, March 13, 2020, in San Francisco. A wave of closures and postponements spanning everything from government offices to cultural events and sports followed California Gov. Gavin Newsom's call this week for cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of 250 people or more because of the coronavirus threat. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

San Francisco's iconic City Lights bookstore is on the brink of collapse as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the business to keep its doors shut.

(CNN) — San Francisco's iconic City Lights bookstore is on the brink of collapse as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the business to keep its doors shut.

Elaine Katzenberger, who is the Publisher and CEO of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers -- both the store and its publishing arm -- has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the $300,000 that is needed to keep the business 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.

City Lights was founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the members of the Beat movement, in 1953.

As of April 10, the "Keep City Lights Books Alive" campaign had raised $106,000, more than one-third of its goal.

The bookstore has also asked fans around the world to share their memories of City Lights on social media.

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

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