WHERE TO STAY IN SAN FRANCISCO
Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter St.; (888) 717-3564, thehotelrex.com. This literary-themed boutique hotel near Union Square is offering Litquake attendees a 15% discount (book online and use discount code LQSF). Its Library Bar is the perfect spot for a pre- or post-event cocktail. Rates begin at $289 a night, without the discount.
City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave.; (415) 362-8193, http://www.citylights.com. This landmark bookstore (and publishing house) in North Beach was founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (a former Litquake Barbary Coast Award winner) and was a hangout for Beat Poets. These days, it's a world-class independent bookstore.
Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St.; (415) 393-0101, http://www.milibrary.org. Founded just after the Gold Rush to provide technical education for mechanics, it now hosts readings and events for writers and book lovers in its stunning 100-year-old landmark building.
826 Valencia and the Pirate Store, 826 Valencia St.; (415) 642-5905, 826valencia.org. When author Dave Eggers wanted to open a tutoring center for kids on Valencia Street, he was told the building was zoned for retail, so he put a pirate store in the front, and the tutoring center in the back. Visit the store and pick up a glass eye or an 826 T-shirt with a pirate ship on the front, or maybe buy one of the excellent McSweeney's books and magazines put out by Eggers' publishing company. Everything goes to support the eight nonprofit 826 organizations across the country.
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